KENYA (Yet another "damp squib" - moan!)

Shipbuilder
18th June 2010, 18:59
I started this one off in the B.I. (British India) section thinking it might be of interest, but response was virtually zero.

Let's try again here, but I feel I am again "batting on a sticky wicket!"

I can't help feeling "scratchbuild" has at last gone beyond the bounds of comprehension on a world-wide scale!

Every time I display the progress on this one, I can almost sense the "curtains" coming down, "brick walls" and the "glazed eyes!"

Bob

paull.happyhiker
18th June 2010, 23:02
I think scratch built ships are excellent. I tried my hand at it once but failed miserably.

John Briggs
19th June 2010, 03:00
Bob, as an ex BI man I think your model is progressing beautifully.
I have long been an ardent admirer of the models in glass cases that used to be seen in ship owners offices. Nowadays they all seem to be the plastic type completely lacking the quality and detail of those that were craftsmen built.
Having absolutely no talent in the area of model buiding I generally refrain from comment until the final product is revealed and then I can give the builder a well done or no comment if I fail to find it good enough.
That may seem rather harsh as I have no talent and I fail to acknowledge the hours of labour undertaken by the model builder however I am a bit of a perfectionist and I would rather save any accolades for those who I feel really deserve them rather than encourage mediocrity.

AncientBrit
19th June 2010, 03:44
"Every time I display the progress on this one, I can almost sense the "curtains" coming down, "brick walls" and the "glazed eyes!"
Yet you continue to display the progress.
I would hazard a guess and posit that if a subject interests people. they may be inclined to leave comment. If your subject doesnt interest them, for whatever reason, no matter how many hours of skill and dedication you may have put into it, they most likely will not comment. Many, like JB would prefer to see the finished product before commenting.


"I can't help feeling "scratchbuild" has at last gone beyond the bounds of comprehension on a world-wide scale!"
What brings you to that conclusion? Surely not the fact that no-one commented on your unfinished model.

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 07:46
Thanks for the replies.
No, it is not the lack of comments that leads me to a "lack of interest in scratchbuild" conclusion.

It is more to do with the statistics. When I first planned this build, I was hard-pushed to find anyone who even remembered the KENYA, (surprising in itself) and was sufficiently interested to help me with a few simple questions regarding colours, deck details not shown on the plan etc.

Looking at the statistics for the model. When I put it in the B.I. section here on NOS, 76 read it which is quite good viewing figures, but of those, only 28 bothered to open the picture even if it was only out of curiosity.

Here in the Model Ships section, 160 have looked at it since (excellent figures) I posted it last night, but only 25 moved themselves to looking at the picture.

On another forum, I have run a complete building log from day 1, starting in May this year and 3,263 have looked at with ten members coming up with comments. But in the kit section, each kit get hundreds of comments during the building.

I like to look at other peoples scratchbuilt models, but find they are virtually non-existant, the most common (and rather odd) statement is usually "I don't have the time!" When I ask how long it takes them to make assemble a kit, the answer is usally months and months or even years and years. I don't think the KENYA has even passed the 70-hour mark yet (I must check it today). I time all the work on a stopwatch and enter it in the computer after each session for adding up when it is complete.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on several forums that books seemed to be going out of fashion and libraries were selling off Lloyds Registers, Shipbuilding & Shipping Records etc and was told on a ship model forum that I was a "dinasaur" who couldn't grasp the fact that books had no part to play in the modern world and it was all "on line." This came from a "modern ship modeller" who had never even built a steam or motor ship, but was stuck in the days of the single topsail. (Talk about dinasaurs, har har).

Patience - I have none - I like to get them finished as soon as possible! KENYA is Nr. 242 since I started counting when I left the sea in October '92!

None of this is "sour grapes" because they are all sold except the last three and one of them, we have decided to keep anyway. If everyone was building them, I don't think I would have been able to get rid of them.

Skill was developed over the years, with plodding persistance. I had very little when I started.

Anyway, I am glad you have at last started talking and I really would be interested in seeing what others produce in the way of scratchbuilding.

Bob

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 09:29
Further notes.

I have always felt that it may be more interesting to those viewing, by showing all of the construction of a ship model on a day-to-day basis, rather that just shoving a completed model under their nose! I quickly discontinue day-to-day updates if insufficient visitors view the progress pictures.

Here are some statistics about the KENYA model that you may, or may not find interesting.

Work began on the17th April 2009, but was more-or-less suspended as I was having difficulty getting essential information on small items not shown clearly on the plan.

Worked spasmodically on it between the above date and the 22nd August, 2009 when I suspended all work on it, the lethargy having overwhelmed me as well (What is it about KENYA?).

Began again in earnest on the 13th May this year and will now carry on until completion no matter what.

Total days worked on model since 17th April, 2009: 24 days.
Least work done in any one day: 0.3 hours (painting funnel)
Most hours worked in one day: 2.90 hours ( promenade deck and etching of side stanchions)
Total hours work from commencement until today just under 47 hours.

Here is the model on completion of the first three hours work.

Bob

rknibbs
19th June 2010, 11:29
You have hit the nail on the head, to see a completed scratch built model and told to go and do the same is totally overwhelming. But your email and photo illustrates that it is not some mysterious black art requiring the skills of a magician and you demonstrate that the building of the basic model is not so difficult.
However, having said that, I know that whilst I could probably make a good stab at the basic model I do not have the skills to produce the quality of painting, stanchions, etc. That after all is the difference between the high quality that you do and warrants the price that people will pay for your models and the general home builder.

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 12:42
You are quite right, there is no great mystery in how to do it. neither is there any great skill required in the painting. For instance with the KENYA, the only painting that has gone into the model so far (not counting the funnel) is the white hull, red underwater and red forecastle deck. Because I am almost totally lacking in painting skills, this paintwork was done with aerosol sprays obtained from Halfords. The red is Red Oxide Primer and the white is White Primer - both dry within minutes to a matt finish. There is no paint at all on the upperworks. The wooden accommodation is faced with white plasticard sheet glued on with contact adhesive. I made the windows and doors on the computer, printed them onto self-adhesive sheet, cut them out and stuck them on. The funnel was initially painted white using the spray paint. I then stuck three narrow black bands round it to mark the boundaries of the white section (the centre one being the black band around the white) and then painted the black by hand, but that was no big deal anyway. The deck rails were all soldered 38 swg tinned copper wire. Quite easy to mass produce after winding them on a frame edged with threaded rod to get the spacing. The completed rails were spray painted white.

I think most people convince themselves that they could never build one with a simple statement "I could never do anything like that!" When I saw my first detailed miniature ship by Donlad McNarry in the local history museum in Durban in 1968 I thought "I wonder how he does that. I will make a point of finding out!" I wrote to him and asked. He referred me to his book Shipbuilding in Miniature. I purchased it and found that there were lots of special techniques that made it quite easy and not very time-consuming. I immediately stopped building large models and took it from there.

You can see more of my models by clicking on "Miniature Merchant Ships" below.

But I have never claimed any especial skills - it is just that most people don't even bother trying!

Bob

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 13:05
I forgot to mention the stanchions. That is no big deal either. I draw them onto a sheet of 2 'thou brass shim using an etch resistant pen. I then spray the back with paint and clip the whole thing to a piece of glass using pieces cut from a plastic slide-binder. Then I put them in weak etching fluid and it about two hours, all that remains is the stanchions and the paint, the rest having been etched away. Here are the stanchions for the KENYA in preparation. The red splodges between the stachions is just to reduce the area of brass that has to be eaten away. The finished stanchions are cleaned with methylated spirit and spray painted white before sticking on.

The glass ensures the whole lot sinks in the fluid. Painting the back stops the fluid etching the whole lot away from behind.

I think the model ships section could be livened up a great deal by modellers coming on and showing how they do things rather than the "Look, I built this" approach!

I know I have been guilty of the "Look I built this" myself recently, but that was only after earlier efforts to show the whole build just met with silence!

Bob

Don Matheson
19th June 2010, 13:24
Bob Fear not, there are plenty of model makers out there but you have to admit that miniatures are a rather specialist and thus a limited field.
Build and have build models for years with a range starting from plastic kits to radio controlled model ships, two of them in progress at the moment. Last one I finished had the help of several USCG members so I do tend to do a lot of research on them just as you do. I also build and paint model figurines and am a member of our local club which covers a good range of subjects. Now that I am forced into retirement I am rebuilding my railway in the attic, 200 meters of track and 38 locomotives. Time is my enemy as far as modeling is concerned, as well as to big a range of subjects but I always have time to admire your work and in doing so I open the pictures and then enlarge them so I do inspect them closely.
I do admire your work and your range of vessels, find your work outstanding and an inspiration to other modelers. Keep up the good work!

Don

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 13:40
Don,
Thanks for reply. I often think railway modellers are more abundant than ship modellers and seem to produce a great amount of outstanding work.

I don't think miniatures are all that "specialist." Years ago, I built ships at 8'=1", but found it very inconvenient and horribly time-consuming. It was inconvenient because I was at sea and was limited in the tools and materials that I could carry round with me. To say nothing of getting the completed model home. When I changed (literally overnight) to miniatures, I found that the problem was solved immediately. I could build them very quickly and found that it was much easier to make small items than large ones when using the special techniques.

I find model shipbuilders very few and far between in Lancashire. At the local ship model club, we have over 60 members, but there are usually only two or three models brought to each meeting and most of them are confined to Napoleonic type warships.

I find the greatest interest is in the USA and Australia, but as far as Britain is concerned, most of the general public still thinks the QUEEN ELIZABETH was a "boat!"

Bob

nhp651
19th June 2010, 15:47
Bob,

As a "scratch builder" living in Lancashire, I have listened too, and made comments on your posts many times about what differences we have, but have never made comment on your personal view before.

I have to say though, that with such a subjective view as you hold towards modelling in general, and what other modellers get up to, I wonder why you comment at all, because the answers are the same, and so are your arguments,and nothing you say will make one iota of differenceto other modellers, iether on this or any other site, I am sad [for you] to say..

You will not change the views of other modellers no matter how many times you comment, or hope for better times to come.

The last time I commented that you were perhaps in the wrong club because others didn't give your models but a fleeting glance, you nearly bit my head off, but as already has been stated on this thread, perhaps people aren't interested in minatures and there is no way in which you can force that on others.

I don't accuse you of being insular,but I find it hard to understand that you make such comments when you do not you take yourself off to other clubs where you would see there is plenty of scratch building going on, and close to your home in Preston.
Southport, Fleetwood, Blackpool and district, Chorley, Blackburn, Haigh Hall, Wigan and Warrington, to name but a few, all have plenty of scratch builders, so how you can possibly say that scratch building is dying off is a mystery and a myth.
Just because they don't delve into your own realms it doesn't mean that the art is dying out.
OH! and by the way, no harm in the uneducated and uninitiated, calling a ship a boat...........not really the crime of the century is it...........I think there are much more important things in this world to worry about.....like the crap performance of the England squad for one thing??!!!(Jester)(Jester)

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 16:23
I get the impression it is dying of because I never seem to see much of it. Occasionally, someone comes up with something here, but they seldom go into any details on how they made anything, it is usually just the finished object, full stop!

My main aim is to get people talking about their methods, but it is generally "flogging a dead horse!"

No, it isn't a crime calling a ship a boat, but why do most people simply refuse to call things by their proper names when it is so easy to get it correct. I never call railway enthusiasts "train spotters" and neither do I refer to steam locomotives as "Choo Choo Trains!"

As for the performance of the "England Squad" as you call them, I couldn't care less whether they win or loose. I have never been to a football match in my life and never intend to go to one either. Even so, intolerable as football is to me, I couldn't stand the continuous blare of the "Mukkinese Battle-Horns" that they are experiencing at the moment, even if I was interested - they would drive me more crazy than I am now(==D)!

Anyway, I don't go on about scratchbuilding all the time, I just bring it up from time to time. I just thought that here on Nostalgia, where probably more than 90% of the members have spent years at sea, there may be more that actually build models of the type of ship most of us sailed in.

I know for a fact that when I first went to sea (early '61), the hobby was quite widespread onboard and equally divided between officers and crew!

Perhaps I should have said scratchbuilding of Merchant Ships with a definate lean towards steam and diesel driven vessels.

Don't worry, I will soon tire of this and disappear again for a while.

Bob

nhp651
19th June 2010, 17:07
i'd love to do a build blog of any of my scratchers, bob, but they take me so long, first doing the grp plugs and moulds, then doing the masters for fittings and casting them, then building the damn things that it would bore people to death, and put any budding modeller off for life.i do always enjoy yours though, because they are so quick in the build, and then onto the next.
sadly for me though......they're just too small to get a motor and r/c into.
great models though, as i have said many times. by the way, you'd always be welcome round my gaff for a chat and a brew.
next time your coming up fleetwood way, give me a shout.
neil.

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 18:08
Neil,
I don't see why it should bore anyone to death. Probably quite a lot out there wondering how it is done. The only thing that would probably put me off GRP is that I suspect that messing about with stuff like that produces horribly toxic pongs, but don't really know. When I build models, I take photographs as I go along and it doesn't take long to write a few words on various forums, but, as you know, I have little patience and if folk don't view the builds, I just stop posting. Thanks for offer of chat in Fleetwood, we haven't been for some time now. Last visit was to sail our R/C 3-masted schooner in the lake a few years ago, but I hear they have filled the small lake in now!
Pity no water closer, apart from the River Ribble.

Today, I veneered the display case for KENYA and damaged my thumb in the process. Whilst smoothing the veneer down with wet & dry, I managed to separate the nail from top of thumb for about 1/8 inch inwards. The number of times I have done this, and I never learn. It will take about three days to get better I suppose.

Spent the afternoon writing up the construction of GLENMOOR, see lower down for picture of GLENMOOR (Motor tramp). Despite so few people building Merchant Ship models these write-ups seem to be ever-popular.

Just finishing at the moment and going off for a glass or two of vino.

Bob

nhp651
19th June 2010, 19:51
no, Bob, the little lake at the end of the main yachting lake is still there.

The council were planning to fill in but got so many objections, have left it.

There is a thriving scale sailing every wednesday afternoon throughout the season.....last wednesday there were at least 20 scale schooners and other sailing craft on the water at one time.......a very pretty and relaxing time.

As for Grp.......it's a Marmite job.....you either love it or hate it,,,,,,,,,...........sadly i'm one of thoSe nutters that love the smell and mess..not every ones cup o' tea though. lol

Shipbuilder
19th June 2010, 20:52
I have just had another look on Google Earth and can see the small lake is still there. There is a small parking ground to the left. Is this "open to all" or members only and that sort of thing. Last time we went, someone told us to drive right down on the grass next to the small lake, it was OK. We did so and no-one said anything, but is it actually OK?
Bob

Cisco
19th June 2010, 20:59
I remember when you were building the 8' to 1" models in 1966. I also recall your tale about selling one to some local shop for a fiver.... it had 'RW, 1965' on the stand... when you next saw it in their window it was covered in dust and had an ask of 25 quid... and 'RW 1865' on the base... :)

nhp651
19th June 2010, 21:37
Bob, sadly for us old duffers that can't carry a boat too far these days, they blocked off the path over the grass woth large kerb slabs, and you have to park in the car park or the promenade, but the car park and lake for sailing is totally open to none members at all times.

Shipbuilder
20th June 2010, 07:42
Thanks for replies.
Cisco, when I first saw the your reply, I wondered who one earth could remember that far back until I saw your name. The model was the brigantine MERLIN that I built aboard the ore carrier SAGAMORE in 1963. It was plank on frame and quite large - took me months to build. Quite annoying to see it passed off as "antique." For info to other readers of this post, in about 1965, Cisco and I became shipmates aboard WINDSOR CASTLE and next-door-neighbours on the boat deck. Both on the 8-12 watch in different departments I was always sure of getting wakened on time by the sounds of some good old Aussie sonds coming from the tape recorder next door. "Click go the Shears Boys, Click Click Click." Heard it the other day and it took me right back to the WINDSOR CASTLE.
Bob

Neil,
Thanks for infor on lake.

Bob

CliffsVictory57
20th June 2010, 19:20
There is discussion of the KENYA here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=31778); I bet they'd be interested in seeing your beautiful model.

Keep up the good works!

TG

Shipbuilder
20th June 2010, 19:24
It is not the same KENYA though, but a much earlier one, owned by British India. This KENYA is the 1951 version.
Bob

Cisco
20th June 2010, 19:45
Thanks for replies.
Cisco, when I first saw the your reply, I wondered who on earth could remember that far back until I saw your name.

Bob

I can remember all sorts of ancient stuff like that... now where did I put my glasses.......???

Shipbuilder
20th June 2010, 20:01
So can I. We must have brains like CD ROMS! Do you remember when those in authority on WINDSOR CASTLE told us to stop referring to her as WINDSOR MARU?
Also, the joker who nicked a hand-cranked alarm from somewhere and worked it in our alleyway one dark night and got all the engineers to rush below?

Great days!

Bob

Cisco
20th June 2010, 20:31
I recall the 'Windsor Maru' and also 'outer space and inner Mongolia' but not the alarm incident...

Shipbuilder
20th June 2010, 21:07
I had forgotten Inner Mongolia & Outer Space, but now you mention it, it has come back again. Maybe the alarm was after you left.
Bob

Shipbuilder
22nd June 2010, 17:34
Tuesday, 22nd June, 2010

At the moment, the model does not look a great deal different, although several more hours work have gone into it! The bridge section and accommodation around the funnel have been fitted and the funnel also screwed in position. The deckhouses on the poop deck have also been fitted and the poop deck rails and side stanchions. In addition to this, the display case has been completed and varnished and only needs the protective backing peeling off the acrylic to complete it fully. The final base varnishing has also been done and the green felt outer base is complete. I am now down to the finer details on the model. This includes hatches, samson posts, rails, masts, deck machinery, davits, lifeboats, derricks, windlass, mooring bits, ladders, rigging and dozens of other small items. Mustn't forget the top of the engineer's mess just aft of the funnel, and also the E/R skylight

Not much point in updating the photograph at the moment, but tomorrow, it should be advanced sufficently for another photograph.

The viewing figures have shot up surprisingly of late and that has caused a sympathetic rise in my own enthusiasm for it!

Bob

jerome morris
22nd June 2010, 17:59
Bob, I for one certainly love your builds. I to am very fond of steam and diesel powered ships.
I also scratch build, though with commissions in front of me I do not have the time I would like to work on my own stuff.
Anyway, keep up the good work and hope more folks find the satisfaction of building there own...I do.

Shipbuilder
22nd June 2010, 19:01
Thanks Jerome,
I was happily surprised to see I have now topped the 1,000 viewing mark with KENYA here on Nostalgia. There is a lot of interest out there, but few, it would appear, feel like trying it themselves!
Have been laid low with injury for a few days. Biggest was toothache which was pretty awful, but resolved after offending molar was smashed out literally with a hammer & chisel on the 1st of this month. Jaw still slightly sore, but at least I am functioning again. Latest injury, separated right thumb nail from top of thumb last Friday (rubbing down with wet & dry), but completely recovered by this morning.
Don't know how things will pan out in future after our "austere" budget today, but may well apply myself to writing for a while in response to numerous requests on "how do you build them so quick?"

Got a plan for a nice little ship called AUSTERITY (Everard's, may do that next, just for a laugh!

Bob

CliffsVictory57
23rd June 2010, 16:17
There are quite a few images of KENYA, UGANDA, and NEVASCA here in the Gallery,
with many of the first two on this page (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/search.php?searchid=573340); the dockside pic popped up in a random view
when I logged on today. The BI Lines aerial poster shot seems informative, too.

Hope you've recovered and are back "on the job."

TG

Shipbuilder
23rd June 2010, 17:35
Thanks TG,
There were several useful pictures there that I hadn't seen before. I am OK again now thanks and have got quite a lot done today.
I have now made and fitted the hatches and also cut the samson posts to size. The compass platform has been added to the top of the bridge and also the top of the engineer's mess just aft of the funnel.
As more and more fine detail goes on, it will soon begin to look better.

What a pity they didn't leave it as built, with black hull and white stripe!

Bob

Shipbuilder
27th June 2010, 17:36
I have now made and fitted five of the eight boats. The two smaller accident boats are in the process of being fitted out and I haven't started the motor launch yet. Sixteen cargo winches have been made and fitted. The windlass has been made and fitted and the rails along the sides of the boat deck.

Not all that far off completion and, I must confess, I am growing a bit weary of it now. These passenger liners take an awfully long time to build.

Bob

John Briggs
28th June 2010, 06:05
Don't weary at this point Bob!
It looks like you have an excellent model on the way but remember it is the final little touches that can make the difference between "Oh yes, nice model" and "Wow, that is great!"

Shipbuilder
28th June 2010, 06:32
Thanks,
I wont stop now until she is finished and I hope that will be by the end of the week. All the drudgery work was completed ages ao. The carrying case and base are all ready and waiting and the carrying case is finished as well. The last three boats wont take very long. Still some fine detail left, mooring bits, anchor cables, forecastle bulwark stanchions, ladders, masts, derricks, rigging. E/R skylights, thermotank units, DF loop, radar, navigation lights.
Bob

captainted
29th June 2010, 02:35
good day Bob

I builded 16 models, 14 out of kits and 2 which are partial from a kit
and then taken the rests of the 14 kits whatever would fit I used.
I think the main reason why kits getting more responses might be that far more peoples working with kits than from scratch. Scratch building is an art
no doubts on that in my opinion, but also a art which has to be hard lerned.
I plan, once I retire, to build one of the vessels which I sailed as Captain
in a sacle about 1:200, and from scratch.
brgds
capt ted

Thanks for the replies.
No, it is not the lack of comments that leads me to a "lack of interest in scratchbuild" conclusion.

It is more to do with the statistics. When I first planned this build, I was hard-pushed to find anyone who even remembered the KENYA, (surprising in itself) and was sufficiently interested to help me with a few simple questions regarding colours, deck details not shown on the plan etc.

Looking at the statistics for the model. When I put it in the B.I. section here on NOS, 76 read it which is quite good viewing figures, but of those, only 28 bothered to open the picture even if it was only out of curiosity.

Here in the Model Ships section, 160 have looked at it since (excellent figures) I posted it last night, but only 25 moved themselves to looking at the picture.

On another forum, I have run a complete building log from day 1, starting in May this year and 3,263 have looked at with ten members coming up with comments. But in the kit section, each kit get hundreds of comments during the building.

I like to look at other peoples scratchbuilt models, but find they are virtually non-existant, the most common (and rather odd) statement is usually "I don't have the time!" When I ask how long it takes them to make assemble a kit, the answer is usally months and months or even years and years. I don't think the KENYA has even passed the 70-hour mark yet (I must check it today). I time all the work on a stopwatch and enter it in the computer after each session for adding up when it is complete.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on several forums that books seemed to be going out of fashion and libraries were selling off Lloyds Registers, Shipbuilding & Shipping Records etc and was told on a ship model forum that I was a "dinasaur" who couldn't grasp the fact that books had no part to play in the modern world and it was all "on line." This came from a "modern ship modeller" who had never even built a steam or motor ship, but was stuck in the days of the single topsail. (Talk about dinasaurs, har har).

Patience - I have none - I like to get them finished as soon as possible! KENYA is Nr. 242 since I started counting when I left the sea in October '92!

None of this is "sour grapes" because they are all sold except the last three and one of them, we have decided to keep anyway. If everyone was building them, I don't think I would have been able to get rid of them.

Skill was developed over the years, with plodding persistance. I had very little when I started.

Anyway, I am glad you have at last started talking and I really would be interested in seeing what others produce in the way of scratchbuilding.

Bob

Shipbuilder
29th June 2010, 07:16
Thanks for reply. Plenty of people are looking now, 1,638 at the moment. But seems very little interest in the photographs - ten have looked at last one. I suppose that is because KENYA is very obscure. I never had much luck with kits, couldn't get parts to fit properly, or I broke them. I tried one again several years ago, but just don't have the skills or patience required.

When I first moved on to complete scratchbuild in the early 70s, I found it much easier and far quicker.

Hoping to finish KENYA by the end of the week.

Bob

Shipbuilder
30th June 2010, 17:57
Did a lot more work on it today, but it doesn't look a great deal differnet. Fitted 1st class swimming pool. Fitting rails. All boats now in position. Fitted engineroom skylight. Fitted top deck on aft superstructure.
Bob

Shipbuilder
5th July 2010, 17:50
I have now fitted the derricks to the posts and painted them. There is still a certain amount of deck detail to go on as well the two tall masts with some more derricks on the foremast. Then I will be ready to start the rigging.
Bob

John Briggs
5th July 2010, 23:20
It's looking good!

Shipbuilder
6th July 2010, 07:24
Thanks,
I have already made the rest of the deck rails, so it is only a matter of fitting them. Lots of small details to go on on the forecastle, top of bridge & down aft. Also various ladders & companionways. I am at the stage where it seems to go on forever, but it will all come together at once - rather like building a real ship. White ships are difficult to get right, but this one seems fine. The display case, base and carrying case were finished long ago, and are ready and waiting. I would definitely say four or five days will see the end of it.
Bob

tugboat
9th July 2010, 09:43
Hi Bob, I have been dropping in on this thread with interest from time to time and have been amazed at the speed in which you complete each stage. Many years ago while I was on board ship but had some time on my hands I started building a model of that ship from the yard plans, scale 1:100, so a larger thing than you do. I never finished it and it has sat on my bookcase all these years like that. I have had thoughts about getting it sorted, but it's the fiddly stuff like winches and windlasses, guardrails, propellors, etc that have deterred me. You seem to make all your own pieces from scratch and I'd be glad of some advice to point me in the right direction. Do you makes propellors or get them from the model shop? If scratch made, how do you go about it? Same for winches, carve from one piece or make up from components? Is there a book you can recommend that would show me techniques? I don't really want to join a club as my commitments don't allow me to be free at regular times.

Shipbuilder
9th July 2010, 11:09
Hi Tugboat,
Thanks. yes, I make everything, even the propellers. The masts, derricks and all the rigging will be 100% metal (brass & copper rod & fine copper wire).
The winches are all turned from brass rod. I can't recommend any books as the moderators would jump on me again, but you could click on Miniature Merchant Ships (below) where you might find something of interest. Or send me a PM.
The miniature techniques are not all that difficult to master. I went from 8'=1" down to 32'=1" literally overnight in the early 70s and found it a lot easier, and cheaper, from day one.
Here are some winches during construction.
Bob

tugboat
9th July 2010, 21:26
Bob, PM sent.

Shipbuilder
10th July 2010, 06:58
Here is a rail frame used for mass-production of rails in small scale. The threaded rod around the sides is used for spacing. The old radio terminals are used for making the wire fast. The wire is tinned copper 38 swg. After painting with flux (Baker's Soldering Fluid), the soldering iron is run lightly across the verticals and the whole thing can be soldered up in a few seconds. After cutting the network from the frame, spray paint using a white matt primer aerosol (normally used for car bodywork). Cut individual strips from the network as required.

Also, a rudimentary lathe that I used when at sea. It is more than adequate for turning winch parts etc. The drill is a handheld 24 Volt type.

Bob

Cisco
10th July 2010, 08:17
Thanks Jerome,
Got a plan for a nice little ship called AUSTERITY (Everard's, may do that next, just for a laugh!
Bob
Gday Bob,
Query... will you be putting a radar on her?

I got good mileage for many years out of your 'wooden radar on the Fred T - (or the Frederick - memory getting a bit shaky here..)' story ...
I'll let you tell it....
Frank

Shipbuilder
10th July 2010, 08:24
The mate of the FREDERICK T. EVERARD was a bit of a joker and at that time, none of the Everard's ships had radar. He knocked up a wooden scanner from old dunnage and mounted it on the monkey island behind the canvas dodgers. There was a handle underneath. Every time an Everard hove in sight (this was quite often as there were about 150 of them), someone would go up and turn it until the other ship had pased and it quickly caused quite an uproar. Funnily enough, years later, I saw a Skyfoto with a very suspicious looking wooden radar on one of the other Everards, so maybe someone guessed and decided to carry on the joke.
Bob

Cisco
10th July 2010, 08:48
Golly... I even had the name right(ish)...
I still have all sorts of plans for the models I am going to make one day... maybe I should pay heed to one of the last things my uncle said to me before he crossed the bar 'never leave anything until you are old'....
Frank

Shipbuilder
10th July 2010, 13:43
I have now completed all the deck details and all the masts, posts and derricks are fitted. All that remains now is to rig the model. This is not an enormous task, such as that involved when rigging a four-masted barque or a full-rigged ship , but it is still rather tedious, being less interesting than rigging a sailing ship. I may extend the estimated completion date to Monday afternoon - it all depends on how things go. If the weather becomes unbearably hot (as they are forecasting) it will slow me down somewhat.
Bob

tugboat
11th July 2010, 09:25
Thanks for the latest pics, the model looks marvellous. Particularly interested in the tooling. That frame for making up the rails is very clever. When you made larger models where the uprights are made of flat bar, did you use a similar technique, threading it all together and soldering it up as a bulk lot? Also, for turning winch parts on your little lathe, do you need special miniature cutting tools or can you adapt other things? It's all a mystery to me how you achieve such fine detail. Full of envy, if the truth be told!

Shipbuilder
11th July 2010, 11:35
Thanks,
When I made large models was way back in the 60s, they were always sailing ships, so the rails were generally confined to poop and forecastle. I just put the stanchions in holes round the edge and soldered the horizontals round them. It was probably not all that good. It was only when I moved on to miniatures that I found I could make things that looked a lot better than large models. The shaping of the winches on the rudimentary lathe is very basic and no special tools are used. The very narrow cuts, separating the drums from the winch body is made by nothing more than a fine blade in a jeweller's saw, held on the rod. The rest of the shaping is done with needle files which come in ovals, rounds, squares, triangles, flats etc and are very cheap. I don't even need a tool rest as the parts are so small!

Powered ships are far more difficult and complicated than sailing ships, so I always recommend anyone wishing to take up miniatures starts with an iron or steel sailing ship.

Miniature sailing ship rigging is easy enough with wire as there are no knots to mess about with - it is all glued on! It is a bit tedious though, and very repetitive.

Rigging a steamer is a pushover. This morning, I completed all the rigging on the KENYA's foremast in 1.2 hours. I will rig the 'midship posts and derricks before lunch and finish off the mainmast this-afternoon.
Bob

ZZ56
27th July 2010, 02:37
Bob,

I personally enjoy all your build threads, as i too prefer modern motor vessels. I don't comment on many of them because you are clearly well-versed at what you do and explain your process well so there is nothing I can add and all my questions are answered.

I agree that 1/8th in. scale ships become a real chore to work on and to sail (if they're RC) but they do have a magnificent presence on the water.

Shipbuilder
27th July 2010, 06:32
Thanks for reply. Comments are not really needed (although appreciated) as I can see what interest there is from the number of times the photographs have been viewed. It was interesting to note that the various stages of building of the KENYA were viewed in the region of 70 times each, but the completed pictures only attracted 39and 50 views respectively for the two images. Lately, I have lost interest to a great extent and no longer post the building sequence even on my own website. My own site is coming up for 25,000 hits now, but the fact that I have stopped showing progress on builds has, so far, not attracted a single comment!
Bob

Shipbuilder
28th October 2010, 13:56
A "damp squib" in every way. At the London maritime sale yesterday (27th October, 2010), the KENYA attracted little interest and was "unsold!"
Very disappointing.
Bob

japottinger
8th November 2010, 17:26
Hello Bob,
I have drawn a w.l. plan of BI Chantala which may be of interest.
regards,
Jim

Shipbuilder
8th November 2010, 17:56
Hi Jim,
I have the Motor Ship plan of CHANTALA and must admit, she was a handsome vessel and on my list of possible/probable future constructions.
Bob

japottinger
11th November 2010, 19:55
Hi Jim,
I have the Motor Ship plan of CHANTALA and must admit, she was a handsome vessel and on my list of possible/probable future constructions.
Bob

Somebody is building a large model of her, I forgot his name now but sent the plan some time ago.

hl43
3rd January 2011, 22:48
Bob,
I have only recently joined this site and saw your message dated 19th June. I too am a miniature model builder, have just finished one of those big South African steam tugs at 1/384 scale and am currently finishing a 1930s coaster at 1/384, Nevasa at 1/1200 and Centaur at 1/600. I travelled in Centaur in 1982 but you were away in the Falklands according to Geoff Shalcross and in St Helena 2 in 2002 and 2008 by which time you had retired. I am a former marine engineer (early sixties). Always enjoyed your articles in Model Shipwright to which I have subscribed from no. 1. Pity it is now an annual. Congrats on your Kenya, fine looking model of an attractive ship. And yes, I think you got the hatches correctly. I have several aerial photos of her, both from astern and from ahead and I agree with your interpretation of which were flush and which had raised combings.
Regards, Harold Lincoln

Shipbuilder
4th January 2011, 07:23
Harold,
Thanks. Yes, I was away in the Falklands with Geoff from 1982-83. We came home in late '82 briefly and then went south again. I worked on CENTAUR (in port) briefly in late 82 before rejoining ST. HELENA. Was in new ST. HELENA 90 - 92 when I took voluntary redundancy as the writing was on the wall for R/Os and I was pretty fed up with the whole show by then.

The KENYA model has attracted virtually no interest, failing to sell at the London maritime auction last October, so there it remains.

The current Shipwright 2011 has been out for ages now, but I still haven't received my copy. The article I have in that, is Two Norwegian Motorships, STELLA POLARIS and ROSE. It was great that they went over to full colour rather than those milky black & white pictures in the quarterly, but I wish they had remained a quarterly. My article for the 2012 issue is the German sailing ship PREUSSEN.

Currently working on four-masted barque PRIMROSE HILL at 32'=1".

Bob

Celestialsphere
24th January 2011, 08:01
Bob,

Only in the last year have your models come to my attention, firstly in the articles which appeared in 'Model Shipwright' and recently online. I am very impressed. I really do like the standard of your presentation for bases and display cabinets and the pen to show scale. I am only halfway through my first ship build and aspire to your quality.

Cheers

Andrew

Melbourne, Australia.

Shipbuilder
24th January 2011, 08:33
Hello Andrew,

Thanks for comments. I hope you are successful in your modelmaking, it really does not take all that long to get the hang of miniatures. To see more of my models, please click on
Miniature Merchant Ships
At the bottom of this post.

A few days ago, someone told me that the GLENMOOR model that I completed early last year, was on Ebay with a price tag of 995! Sure enough, it was the same one. I watched it for a couple of days, and it sold for 750!

Pictures of it are in this section of Nostalgia further down.

Best wishes

Bob