Marine Art and Maritime Modelmaking

Welcome to my blog, it's primary intention is to keep my existing clients up to date with the progress of their commissions, but hopefully it will prove of interest to anyone with an interest in Marine art and modelmaking

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

HMS Victory, Airfix 1:100, painting the stern

Below the paintwork on the stern is all but complete
Some final tidying up maybe made when the ship is assembled and washes of acrylic will be added.
Above a detailed shot of the crest on stern, all painted with enamels. These paints are a little tricky to use for detailed work, and need to be thinned to just the right consistency to flow easily.

This photo shows  an earlier stage with the yellow and black nearly completed , just a little snagging required. I used the humrol enamels that came with the kit , spayed on the yellow over a natural wood colour undercoat.Then a diluted black enamel was hand painted over the yellow. It took me 10 hours to get to this stage.

Above shows a close up,it's really tricky getting the finish right on this part of the ship. It's got to be clean cut paintwork at this scale.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

HMS Victory, Airfix 1:100, alterations worth making to the kit, gun ports etc

In my opinion the most important alteration you can make to this kit is to thicken the hull walls around the gun ports. The injection molding process/ financial restrictions mean the ships hull is considerably thinner than it should be.
So using some styrene strip of 3.2mm x 4 mm for the lower gun deck, 2.5mm x 4mm for the next and 2mm x 4 mm for the upper gun deck, I set about thickening the hull
First of all the gun ports were sanded down to remove the poorly represented inner frames, then using a guillotine/cutter the styrene strip was cut into 8-9mm lengths and glued on the inside of the gun ports.I then  adjusted the strips looking from the outside,  positioning each piece, making sure they overlaped evenly and parallel to the edges of the gun port.
Below, 13 hours and 352 pieces of styrene later all the gun ports on both sides of the hull have been completed.

A close up shows how the hull walls now appear convincingly deeper when seen through the gun ports.

This shot shows the hulls from the inside, none of the styrene will be visible when the decks are in position, except for maybe the middle ports on the 12pdr gun deck, theses ports may need  to be hidden by a  thin sheet of styrene after the lower decks have been put in place.
The next alteration made to this kit was to prepare the keel for the copper covering. The bottom part of the central keel is cast flat with no detail.This part of the ship is not really seen when viewing the ship from above, but if viewed from a lower angle it can be seen.
 One complete packet of styrene strip 4 mm x 0.25 mm was cut into lengths between 12-15 mm long.The flat part of the keel was tiled with this so that it appeared uniform. This took 3 hours and 15 minutes for both halves of the hull, leaving it ready for the next stage, covering in copper foil.

 The next task was to deal with the moulded wood grain on the outside of the hull. Initially I thought I would leave it ,but after some contemplation, I decided the out of scale wood grain effect upon it  would really detract from the overall look of the finished model.
The only reason I could think of for not removing the wood grain effect was that is was a time consuming, boring, messy, laborious task that I didnt really want to do.

 With this in mind, armed with a piece of 180 sandpaper I decided to take on the dreaded laminate floor style wood grain.
On the left of the stairs the wood grain as it was originally, on the right of the stairs the rubbed down hull. The result is pleasing, but great effort was required not to remove any detail around the gun ports or other sharp edges that I wanted to keep.
After 8.5 hours both sides of the hull were rubbed down to an extent where the wood grain effect exists only as a light shadow. The seam lines on the top of the hull were also removed with a scalpel and sand paper.

The last major alteration to the hull I have planned is concerning the windows in the stern of the ship.The glazing bars in the windows look cheap like UVPC, not suitable for Georgian glass so with a small square needle file the windows had their bars filed down to make them thinner.

The three  columns of windows on the left hand side of the picture have been filed down, compare them with the other windows which are untouched. The thinner rubbed down glazing bars have a delicacy and irregularity that adds greatly to the appearance of the model.

I was going to cut the rear gun ports out, but unfortunately the holes do not line up with the lower deck, they appear to be position lower than they should be ? So making the necessary alterations would become quite time consuming job and are not in the budget for this project.

The windows at the side of the stern were also given the same treatment.The half on the left has been filed down and awaits cleaning up,the half on the right is as it comes in the box. This photo shows clearly shows how over sized the glazing bars are.

Below the photo shows the stern cleaned up and ready for painting.

The windows were cleaned by running the edge of a scalpel along the glazing bars to remove the "fluffy bits" ,then they were brushed with a stiff brush to get rid of any bits, leaving a finer and  increasingly delicate looking stern.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

HMS Victory Airfix 1:100, 32,24,12 pounders construction

I have started putting together the Guns on HMS Victory, first of all I soaked the sprues in warm soapy water for 5-10 minutes and then set them aside and allowed them to dry thoroughly.

Next I removed 60 gun barrel halves(parts 14 and 15), trimmed off the plastic that attached the guns to the sprues and glued the two halves of the barrels together. With each gun I took a bit of time to ensure both sides of the barrels are aligned correctly, and  I was careful not to apply to much  glue, however the barrels still require scraping with a scalpel along the seam lines when dry.
After this I looked at the gun carriages, removed the 5 pieces, trimmed them and assembled them,I made sure the sides were square and that the gun barrels sat in the carriages at the same angle.
 The 32 pdrs barrels and carriages are the same size in this kit as the 24 pdrs, this is just a result of rationalization in the kit design,but in 1:100 scale the size difference is barely noticeable.
After 6.5 hours work, all 30 of the 32 pdrs and their carriages have been assembled, the seam lines on the barrels have been scraped with a sharp scalpel and the muzzles have been filed with a circular file.

Next, I repeated the process for the 30 x 24 pdr guns, this took only 5.5 hours as the process of assembly was refined and became increasingly efficient,I also stopped scraping the seam lines on the barrel on the part that rests upon the gun carriage as they will not be seen. Below the 60 32 and 24 pdr guns assembled.

Below in a close up of one of the above guns, you can see how I have drilled out a hole in the plastic on the breech of the gun to thread the restraining rope through. I have only done one, until I work out how visible this part of the model will be when assembled,thers no point wasting time putting in details that nobody will ever see !
 However some of the visible 12 pdrs on the deck will need super detailing,ropes, blocks and tackle etc.

Next I assembled the 24 x long barreled 12 pdrs and the 20 x short barreled 12 pdrs. Four or the short barreled 12 pdrs were missing one of the rests that sit on the gun carriage.These had to be replaced with plastic of the right diameter from my spare parts box.
 Over 20 hours of work later the assembled 728 parts that make up the formidable 104 gun battery are pictured below.

The guns have now been boxed up, prior to spraying and additional detailing.