Svaerdstad

Shipbuilder
30th August 2008, 18:00
Having got the prison hulk "off my back" at last, I have now begun preparations for a miniature of the Norwegian iron barque SVAERDSTAD, that was built in 1885.
The model will be 32'=1" & have a hull length of about 6.4 inches. The wood I have selected is obeche and is the other half of the block that I cut the Tea Clipper NORMAN COURT from a couple of months ago.
Work will probably begin on Monday.
Bob

R58484956
30th August 2008, 18:15
Looking forward to progress photos.

Shipbuilder
3rd September 2008, 17:53
Although I have not actually started the model itself yet, I have completed the display case (apart from varnishing - Size - 15 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches & 6 3/4 inches tall). Also assembled the carrying case & the inner base ready for the sea.
Bob

Shipbuilder
6th September 2008, 19:16
I have now cut out the hull & roughly shaped it (with coping saw & scalpel). I have also laid the maindeck planking. Torrential rain has prevented me from completing the varnishing of the display case woodwork & the completion of the carrying case. I suppose it will rain again tomorrow, so that will means I can push ahead on the hull.

Shipbuilder
9th September 2008, 07:26
The model is coming along fine now with the poop fitted and the counter stern shaped. The forceastle head and clipper bow are in the process of shaping and the bulwarks have been fitted. Torrential rain every day has slowed me somehwat as it prevents me working outside on the rougher aspects such as shaping the hull with a coarse file.
It will soon be ready for plating & painting. I find this size of model very satisfying & not much work as the hull can be held in the palm of the hand.
For some reason, there is virtually no interest in this sort of model by today's model makers, but this works to my advantage more than anything else, as the demand exceeds the supply.
Bob

liteflight
9th September 2008, 10:07
Bob,

Watching the build with interest, its inspiring to see how you tackle the steps. What do you plate with?
please keep them coming
andrew

Shipbuilder
9th September 2008, 11:02
Hello Andrew,
I plate with paper masking tape. It is extremely sticky and appears to be very permament. Even after twenty years it remains fast & by then has gone so hard it is even difficult to get off even if one wants to.
This morning, I fitted the bowsprit/jibboom socket, embedded in plastic metal whilst the bowsprit was held at the correct angle with a simple, but precisely angled jig. The forecastle deck was then glued on top.
Bob

liteflight
10th September 2008, 08:23
Bob,

Thanks, interesting. You mean the crepe masking tape? I have seen this used for "plating" on a plug, but of course this was a one use/short life application.
No doubt you are coating it with varnish, sealer or paint, so this impregnates it and makes it very durable.

The individual plate sizes will be rather small at your scales! With my square hands I find I use a scalpel a lot, not only to cut but also as a precise pickup and positioning tool.

andrew

Shipbuilder
10th September 2008, 08:36
Andrew,
Yes, that is the tape I use. When pressed firmly on the hull with a smooth rounded item (Plastic button on end of a cheap ball pen), the crepeiness is smoothed out. I don't put individual plates on, but complete plating runs from bow to stern with and equal gap between strips. This gives an excellent impression of the "raised strake, sunken strake" method of plating. The individual plates next to each other were often butted on to each other and consequently the vertical joins could not be seen on real ships unless very close! I also pick up small items on the end of a scalpel. Once plated, I simply paint with a water-base paint (Chromacolour) that dries in ten minutes (no patience for other types of paint).

I haven't put any update pictures on mainly because my computer is away for repair & this one is an old Windows 98 that I dug out of the attic, very slow & good only for e-mail, or surfing the net. But with 142 views of SVAERDSTAD & only 13 viewers so far bothering to look at the picture that I have put on, there is not much interest anyway! As soon as things are up & running (maybe later today), I will update the picture.
Bob

Shipbuilder
11th September 2008, 07:31
My computer is back, fully functional again. Here is the progress on the SVAERDSATD yesterday morning (spent all afternoon re-installing computer software).
As you can see, it look pretty awful at the moment. Once it gets its plating & a lick of paint it will look a lot better. The last sailing ship I did of similar size (Tea Clipper NORMAN COURT) sold for £720 a couple of months ago in a London maritime auction, so you can imagine that the SVAERDSTAD will certainly look a lot better when it is completed.
Bob

Shipbuilder
14th September 2008, 16:45
The hull has now been plated & painted. The poop & half-round has also been fitted. The bowsprit/jibboom asembly is still loose in the socket as they will have to be taken out when I make the figurehead. The bolt heads showing on the maindeck & halfdeck will eventually be hidden by the forward deckhouse & the chartroom.
Bob

Tony Breach
15th September 2008, 08:13
Bob,
Please can you explain how you apply deck planking. I used to use very finely scored basswood sheet which was available in the US. I would rub it down until the score almost disappeared, one coat of sealer & a final sanding then apply a thin coat of water based matt varnish. I cannot find that basswood product in the UK.
Tony

Shipbuilder
15th September 2008, 09:24
Hi Tony,
For the deck planking, I use 1/32nd marine plywood that is available in most UK model shops. I paint it with artists picure varnish that makes the scored lines show up better. I glue it to the top of the hull using normal Evo-Stik wood glue.
Bob

Shipbuilder
16th September 2008, 13:21
I have now fitted the forward deckhouse, chartroom & figurehead. The fitting out of the deck is far more enjoyable than making the hull. With so few people looking at the photographs, I will wait a while before updating visually - guess this type of model is too far outside the "norm" to arouse much interest in the UK.
Bob

Shipbuilder
17th September 2008, 14:49
A lot more progress has now been made. The three cargo hatches are fitted. Also the deck winch, water barrels, capstans & catheads. In addition to this, the three lower masts, made from fine brass tubing have been temporarily fitted. Work remaining on the hull includes mooring bits, ladders, guardrails, compasses, wheel, davits, boats, skylights, fife rail & pumps.
Bob

liteflight
17th September 2008, 16:33
Bob,

Thank you for keeping us informed about progress
I really value your step by step build because of your clear, simple steps so that I can see myself doing similar work in my area - scale aircraft and scale sailing.

I take a careful look at the pics, too - after painting the "plated" hull I believe I can see the faint in and out plating.

So thanks and I appreciate your postings - as well as the interesting prototypes you make

andrew

Tony Breach
19th September 2008, 11:45
Same goes for me Bob, I shall never be in your class but the pics give me inspiration to keep at it & I value your willingness to share your skills & methods with us.
Tony

Fred Wood
20th September 2008, 08:01
I agree with the comments above. Your models are an inspiration: if only I had the time...

Shipbuilder
20th September 2008, 11:46
Thanks for replies. They are not all that time-consuming, I have very little patience & like to see the job up & running within an hour of starting building one. So far, I have worked 21 hours on the SVAERDSTAD (Timed on a stopwatch) spread over 13 days. Have not done a thing at it since last Wednesday - just got back from London. Will probably start again this afternoon.
Bob

Shipbuilder
22nd September 2008, 19:25
A lot more progress has now been made & the hull is now complete apart from the four boats & the lifeboat davits. Tomorrow, I will make & paint the three masts & whilst they are drying, will complete the four boats, fit them & rig the davits ready to commence the rigging on Wednesday. I have discontinued posting progress photographs because there has only been a minimal viewing of them, but will post the pictures of the completed model. Hope to have it all done within 10 days or so.
Bob

Shipbuilder
24th September 2008, 14:13
I have now completed the hull. The masts, bowsprit/jibboom are also complete & in position. I usually feel a bit daunted when I look at the bare masts, but it doesn't take long to get things looking shipshape. The first sequence of rigging are the jibs, staysails, spanker & gaff topsail.
Bob

Shipbuilder
25th September 2008, 17:52
The shrouds & ratlines have all been rigged on the three lower masts & three staysail have been set & rigged between main & mizzen. The next task is to complete the mizzen mast with spanker & gaff topsail. The shrouds were made from tinned copper wire and the ratlines are even thinner tinned copper wire soldered on.
Here is the latest photograph taken on the afternoon of 25th September, 2008.
Bob

stein
25th September 2008, 18:28
Looks good. How you can solder ratlines on in that scale is beyond me. Regards, Stein.

Shipbuilder
26th September 2008, 08:01
Thanks for comments,
I wind the ratlines onto a frame using threaded rods glued along the sides to get the correct spacing. The shrouds are then soldered across them. Actually, it doesn’t take very long & a number of people that I have showed the technique have had no difficulty. I then spray paint them before fitting to the model.

It always surprises me how few people bother to look at the progress pictures here on Nostalgia (That is the reason I cut down on pictures). The above picture, posted yesterday has only been viewed 5 times with 485 views of the thread, as of this moment. I placed the same picture on another website at the same time & it has already been viewed 41 times! It is not as if the models are unpopular, for the past 16 years, I have been sending them to the London maritime auctions twice a year& they have never failed to sell. SVAERDSTAD is number 229 since I started counting in October 1992! I have been trying for years to stimulate interest in scratchbuilding of model ships both sail & steam, but have failed miserably. I am afraid the kit manufacturers have won the day. The bright side is that because so few people build them (world-wide) the demand is insatiable.

I would really like to keep them all, but the house is not big enough. I get great pleasure from buidling them & the hobby more than finances itself,

Bob

liteflight
26th September 2008, 09:06
Bob

Me, I love your pics since they show me your planning as well as the progress and your workmanship.

Ahead of the forward boat skids there are what look like four casks on the deck - is that what they are?
I have soldered railings, and find that getting the right amount of solder in the joint is the key to the right appearance - do you use an iron? and do you have a cunning way of avoiding blobs or starved joints? I intend to try one of the powdered solder/flux pastes to see if this makes the regulation easier. Funnily enough silver soldering with paillons of solder does at least make the dose precise.

andrew

Shipbuilder
26th September 2008, 09:16
Hi Andrew,
The casks in front of the deck house are what I assume must be water barrels. The soldering of rails is not a problem at all & the secret lies in the soldering flux. I use Bakers Soldering Fluid that can be obtained from good toolshops or plumbers supplies. It has the consistency of water & can be painted on. Even with a lot of solder on a small 25 Watt iron, the joints only take a minimal amount of solder. Don't forget to wash the brush after use or the flux will rot it away within an hour!
Bob

Tony Breach
26th September 2008, 09:37
Bob,

Thanks again for your pics, she is looking very good. You earlier mentioned that you use only Chromacolour - I have been into their website which is very good. A question: do you use the tubes or the small jars?

Tony

Shipbuilder
26th September 2008, 09:46
Hi Tony,
I prefer the small plastic bottles, they are about 3 inches high. As they are water-based, the top never clogs up as it can be wiped after use. When it dries, it is waterproof.
Bob

Tony Breach
26th September 2008, 11:02
Many thanks, Bob.
Tony

ROBERT HENDERSON
26th September 2008, 12:54
BOB
I have not got the patience or skill to do models like you do, I knew a chief engineer that made scale models from discarded food cans, I got as much pleasure seeing how it progressed as much as the finished article. I understand how disheartening it must be when people do not hit on your photos, but I hope you will keep posting your progress as some of us non model builders find them enjoyable as each step comes nearer completion.

Regards Robert.

liteflight
26th September 2008, 13:38
Bob,

There is a little ring of acolytes sat in a virtual circle round your feet eager to learn things - please don't be affected by the small uptake of picture views.

What wood do you use for your masts? As you say if you keep adding the right bits (and Bitts) it quickly takes shape

My Volante has some unexplained cooper-made oval things next to the deckhouse - all the learned advice suggests that they are water casks altho they appear to be parallel end-to-end - any suggestions?
I am going to try and use a p/bucket reference:
http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd159/andrewh_photo/DCP03219.jpg
This is the basic picture I worked from - and the unidentified thingies are abaft the deckhouse

andrew

Shipbuilder
26th September 2008, 14:11
Thanks for replies. Not really disturbed by lack of views to pictures, but can't quite understand why more than 500 people will view the text, but only a handful bother to look at the pictures - perhaps "curiosity" has died?

I don't use any wood for the masts, above deck, everything is metal except the airmail paper sails. The lower masts are brass tube, the topmasts copper rod & the t'gallant/royal masts are silver steel. The yards will be brass rod, copper rod & silver steel. The rigging is 100% copper wire.

I am pretty sure the oval casks aboard VOLANTE are water casks.
Patience - don't have much myself! Like to build at least one a month & like to see results within first hour of building.

Bob

liteflight
26th September 2008, 14:49
Bob,

Thanks for the mast info. Do you file tapers?

I'm familiar with oval casks - they were used for packhorse carrying, etc. but I'm used to them being bulged in the centre like most casks. They must have had some good coopers in Baltimore.

andrew

Shipbuilder
26th September 2008, 15:30
Hi Andrew,
I do file the tapers, but not in the normal way. I put the spar in a handheld electric drill (battery type) & place it along the almost closed jaws of a vice. Then with only 6 Volts on the drill, hold a fine file on top, moving it backwards & forwards until the required taper is obtained. Any more than 6 Volts tends to make the spar "whip" round & sometimes fly out, but 6 Volts seems just right.
Bob

stein
26th September 2008, 15:53
Americans used semi-square water casks of the type in the linked drawing I know, there was a series on Clipper ship details in Nautical Research Journal a few years back that showed their build I believe. Scandinavians stuck to wooden ordinary barrels on deck for as long as they built sailing ship, generally positioned ahead of the break of the poop. I guess that goes for the Germans too. But I wonder about the British. I've often read about iron tanks, but can't remember having seen them in any photo, maybe they kept them under deck?
I too use metal for small masts, much the same way as described, but have found it practical for bigger masts to glue gummed paper around piano wire, saturate the paper with Cyanoacrylate and taper the masts in a drill with sanding paper held with a thick glove. A certain thickness of the paper roll is necessary. It is much faster than tapering steel of course, but the Cyanoacrylate is poisonous stuff. Examples of such masts here: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=40790 Just out of curiosity: is the lack of interest in pictures of the models confined to sailing ships only, or will there be just as as few hits with motorships? Regards, Stein.

liteflight
26th September 2008, 16:23
Stein,

Thank you for putting some meat on the bare bones of what the picture shows - I shall consider them to be water casks of the American style even though I have not arrived yet at at the deck fittings.
Your mast material method is very interesting - you are making a sort of wood then sanding as normal!

andrew

Shipbuilder
26th September 2008, 17:54
I have now set all the sails on the mizzen mast, but it will not look correct until I have fitted the tropmast shrouds/ratlines & the standing rigging. Then I will move onto the staysails between fore & mainmasts, followed by the standing rigging, then finish off the jibs & staysails on the jibboom.
Stein.
I have looked at AFON ALAW & QUEEN MARGARET in the link. Did you use AFON ALAW plans to make an un-named ship? I ask simply because as far as I know, AFON ALAW & AFON CEFNI never had painted ports, although I may be wrong in this if they only had them for a short time.
I don't know about the photograph hits. I have just checked on my BRAEMAR CASTLE (1898) further down this section of the forum. The photographs were viewed quite a lot during the building, but the final photographs of the completed model only attracted 9 hits. I do find this strange, because when I view models being built, I always want to see the final outcome. Also, in the middle of the BRAEMAR CASTLE thread is the far more modern troopship DILWARA, still with not many views. On other websites, they normally attract hundreds of views!

Anyway, here is another of SVAERDSTAD:
Bob

R58484956
26th September 2008, 19:28
Bob very many thanks for updates, soon be time for your wife to get the waves rolling.

stein
26th September 2008, 21:48
Hi Shipbuilder. The Afon Alaw I originally painted much like the Svaerdstad but with a stronger blue below the black top, this according to a painted old ship portrait. But I later used the ship as a model for a ship belonging to a company with upside down ports, at the moment forgotten (and it's of small importance). That's why I call it the Afon Alaw in disguise.
Could you give us links to the sites you refer to? And how do you fasten the staysails to the copper thread? The only method I have found is to bore small holes in the sail and tie it to the stay, hardly a perfect method. Regards, Stein.

Shipbuilder
27th September 2008, 07:25
Hi Stein,
Thanks for reply. I wondered about the upside down ports as well. I know some of Dale Line ships were like that, but they were quite rare. The other two sites are
www.modelshipworld.com and www.drydockmodels.com - (1st one in UK, 2nd one in USA). I am to be found in General Discussions section of both, still at Shipbuilder.
Staysails. I put a thin spread of contact adhesive along the edge & just place it on the stay - it is gripped immediately! It seems to be permanent as I have seen models I built over 30 years ago & they are still intact!
I don't use any knots in the rigging, it is all glued or soldered. Ratlines are soldered on, but rest is glued. Take short length of thin copper wire & stretch it slightly by picking up at each end with two pairs of small pliers. This make it perfectly straight. Measure off length required with dividers & cut to length. Pick up in centre using fine tweezers, dip each end in contact adhesive & place in position on model. It really is very easy this way & doesn't require any skill at all. The wire may be blackened by using a broad felt-tipped marker pen, but I mainly use wire that is black to begin with.
Bob

stein
28th September 2008, 15:38
Thanks for the links Bob. The British one looked interesting, and it was easy to find "Shipbuilder" there; I didn't find it on the US site though.
Regarding the glueing of sails onto thread, it's a matter of which contact glue I guess. Used to be a Swedish thick one here, "Karlsons Lim" that you could put a matchstick into and it would stand, and where you could early on pull the matchstick out without dragging all of the glue along. They have sold their name to the German company Uhu, who now sells their product here falsely as "the original Karlsons glue." I hate Uhu and have done so for perhaps 40 years: it's separate chemicals separate, it drips, has a very wet surface that sticks to fingers perfectly and is extremely elastic at all stages - which means you could pull a string of it into the next room with separate parts hanging along it. Then there's Scotch that completely lacks elasticity when dry, and really doesnt penetrate very well. And that, beside the two part Epoxys and the different thickness of Cyanoacrylates is what they sell here. And putting a fine line on the edge of a staysail and fastening it onto a copper thread really isn't feasible with any of it. Not with my fingers and spectacles anyway! Would be interested in hearing what brand you use. Blackening copper with a marker sounds dubious to me, but I haven't used much copper; I have been able to buy steel at down to 0,07mm. That has been either glued (Cyanoacrylate) or silver-soldered: I haven't actually done any other form of soldering. Regards, Stein.

Shipbuilder
28th September 2008, 17:58
Hi Stein,
The contact adhesive that I use is Bondloc that I get from a local electronics store (Maplin). The website on the Bondloc tube is www.bondloc.com
The type of copper wire that I black with a marker pen is enamelled. I run fine abrasive paper down it before blacking with the pen. It does seem to be permanent. The fine black enamelled wire that I use comes from www.wires.co.uk The glue is applied to the edge of the sail with a cocktail stick, but I don't apply it to the wire as well. The only rigging I solder is the ratlines to the shrouds, the rest is glued. Blocks are small blobs of Chromacolour mixed with white glue.

Didn't do any work on SVAERDSTAD yesterday, we went to Maritime Museum at Albert Dock Liverpool & were there all day. Today, I have completed the mizzen mast with all its standing rigging. I have fitted & rigged the three staysails between fore & mainmasts.

At this moment, Christine is in the other room painting the sea.

Hope to complete standing rigging, make & paint the yards & fit & rig remaining jibs & staysails tomorrow.

Bob

Shipbuilder
29th September 2008, 17:43
All the fore & aft sails have now been set & rigged & the standing rigging is now complete. The sea has also been painted. Work remaining is to fit & rig the ten square sails & complete the standing rigging on the bowsprit/jibboom.
Bob

R58484956
1st October 2008, 15:58
Bob looking forward to the final completed photo.