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Model Expo 1/24 USN Picket Boat 1

90 posts in this topic

Got the hawse holes done today, and a start on painting the topside. I'd originally planned to do the hawse holes in brass, but ended up taking the 1/64" plywood/rat tail file/superglue/graphite approach instead. These are intended to be iron components set into the hull, and I *think* I got the look right.






And after the first layer of paint and stain on the top deck:




The decks and cover rails need another coat of gray, then it's on to masts, weathering and placement of the supports for the spar torpedo.

krow113 and GusMac like this

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Working on deck fittings today. These include the cleats for lines of various sorts, the spar torpedo mounts and cannon fittings.


The first pieces are the foredeck cleats and the aft mount for the torpedo.


The cleats are pretty straightforward- Britannia metal casts that just needed a bit of cleanup and primer before hitting them with graphite.


The torpedo mounts are fairly thick PE brass. The aft mount is two pieces that needed to be both riveted and adjusted to fit. Pretty straightforward, but needs a bit of primer to help smooth out the creases.





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So I got impatient and finished the aft torpedo mount, because I just had to see how everything worked.


I finished it with a couple layers of graphite, then pinned it to the hull with brass pins of the appropriate scale, likewise finished with graphite.




With this bracket out of the way, I started the forward piece. This one's a bit more complex since multiple pieces are riveted together and have to articulate in multiple directions.


So - out comes the home blacksmith shop...




These are the first three pieces, riveted together and shaped. There's two more pieces to add. I'll add a touch of tamiya primer/filler to help smooth the half-millimeter-wide bend lines in the Model Expo PE, and connect it all up and mount it tomorrow-ish.

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Bit of progress on the deck fittings.  The forward spar hanger was a bit of a headache, fit-wise.  The location makes fitting the support brace a challenge - took about 30 mins and two pairs of pliers to get all the curves and twists just right.


Hmmm.  Realizing that a black brace, in shadow, against a black section of hull doesn't show very well ! :D


Foredeck almost done


Edited by crazypoet

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I just found the time to go through all four pages of your WIP and I have to admit, I'm stunned.
Your attention to detail and the use of different kinds of material really impress me. The effort you took to replikate the engine is just great.
The whole boat is looking really convincing and "just right" and that is the hardest thing to achieve in modelling.

The subject you chose is right in my comfort line, because the scale allows a lot of detail work. I started a wooden one-mast sailing boat some years ago ( Le Renard, the ship of St. Malo Freelancer Robert Surcouf).

From now on I will follow your progress and can't wait to see your little gem finished.

Cheers Rob 

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Thank you!  The work that I see posted here day in and day out is my inspiration.  I look at the work posted by everyone in these forums and it encourages me to up my own game and take on new challenges.

The deck fittings are almost done - a few more cleats and the masts are what remain in that department.  I need to pay a visit to my LHS to get the right sized stock for the masts.  I have 3/32" and 3/16" stock on-hand, and of *course* the masts need 1/8"...  it never fails, lol.  The delay will give me more time to work out exact placement and mounting options.  Once the fittings are installed I'll finish weathering and stain-washing the hull and decks.

After those, it's down to the home stretch - pulling together all the earlier sub-assemblines and associated plumbing.  I did some test fits today, and it all sort of works.  Photos to follow as I get more bits connected up.

Meanwhile, I'm digging up patterns and pictures of the various tools that would have been carried aboard.  Spanners, hammers, oil cans and suchlike, along with a coal shovel and the tools for loading and firing the gun.  I can be working on these while I sit on conference calls at work...

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The deck fittings are essentially complete, though I'm still doing a bit of fine-tuning on the masts.


the front mast would of necessity been removable - it sits directly in way of the gun muzzle and would be just a bit of a mess should they forget one time to take it down!  For this reason, I chose to just do the mounting socket here.  For the rear, I'll mount the mast permanently, hung with an appropriate Naval Ensign.  Getting the blocks and cleats the way I want them is an ongoing process at the moment, so it's not quite ready for its closeup.


The mast sockets were punched from card stock, stiffened with CA and drilled through before getting a coat of graphite.  I'm doing a bit of second-guessing on the location for the rear mast.  It was shown offset from the centerline and ahead of the rudder post in the old drawing, but it just doesn't look quite right.  I may move it before I make things permanent.  If I do move it, I'll have to cover the hole i already drilled in the deck, but that is just a "design challenge"...  a day in the life!


i've started weathering the hull - left side in-progress just now.  I've temporarily mounted the rudder/tiller and prop for reference, to help with splash patterns and the like.  The weathering needs to be strong enough to be visible, but not over the top.  Finding that space between just enough and too much...  


so herewith the progress of the moment:





hull and waterline:



cockpit and stern:



it doesn't show up well in these shots, but there's a layer of brown algae sludge along the waterline.  That is going to be the biggest headache, I think - it's a fine line between enough and overboard.  The hull has been in heavily sedimented rivers and nearshore waters for months, with groundings on sandbars and beaches along the way, but is also not yet a year old...  more to come as continue along and scratch my head!

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This shows some of the hull detail a bit better - the somewhat-battered prow, stains and a bit of slime:




and the stern, with tiller, hatches and mast socket.  If I decide to move the mast, it will go on he centerline just behind the tiller.  Still undecided on that...




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I finished weathering the hull and gave it a light dull coat to seal things in.  Today I stain-washed the deck; when the stain cures it will get a bit of weathering touch-up and a dull coat as well.


I'm getting close to happy with the mast.  It's not *completely* finished and the cotton flags I ordered have not yet arrived, so please forgive the state of the rigging - a bit of a tangeled mess at the moment! :D 


When the flags arrive, I'll finish the loop-and-toggle rigging and set the mast.  I may yet move it behind the tiller - I'm completely undecided as of yet.  It would be "correct" in either location, I just have to see which feels *right*


next step...  machinery









DocRob and GusMac like this

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So, yeah, I moved the mast fitting... :D  I just couldn't wrap my brain around the offset - it never did look right.


so... patch, paint, drill...  I had to re-create the original wood grain in the boards where I patched the hole.  I found that the back edge of an x-acto blade did the trick nicely.




I've not yet applied the last stain wash over the patch, but it's starting to blend in.




I'm still waiting on the flags (I understand that they cleared Customs today, so should arrive Monday or Tuesday) so the mast isn't ready for installation.  I'll do pics when it's ready - I'm pleased with the way it looks so far, but I need the flags and rigging done before it will be ready for a close-up.  I found that a conveniently-sized washer, a bit of brass tube, raised-resin rivet decals and some heat-shrink tubing made for a quite nice mount for the thing - watch this space for further details... ;)


while I'm waiting for the flags...  here's the first test fitting of the internal components, checking spacing and alignment of the plumbing:




there is a bit of trimming necessary in the decking - the deck planks I used are a bit thicker than the original kit specs so I'll have to cut the planks and inset the engine baseplate to make everything level.


i also will have to drill through the deck planks for each steam and water pipe.  the pipes will pass through the decking and disappear into the depths; fortunately I don't have to do all the sub-deck plumbing.  


While working these odds and ends, I found good photos online of the different types of tools that would have been carried onboard.  Spanners, coal shovel and valve keys for the engine/boiler, caulking hammers and carpenter tools for the hull and suchlike. I'll need to scratchbuild all of those, since such scale tools as I've been able to find to-date are just not right - they seem all to be dollhouse accessories made to look decent from a distance, but which fail miserably under close inspection.  I found a perfect anchor, though, which makes me very happy



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Starting to come together...


a bit bit of rust for the condenser...




installation - engine, condenser and prop










the hot box and engine plumbing are next.  There are three pipes that run from the engine down into the deck, plus one that will run between the engine and the boiler.


i'm using brass tubing and white metal elbows, painted with Alclad exhaust manifold and Vallejo light rust - it's giving me what I *hope* is a good approximation of iron pipes and bronze fittings.  The prop shaft got dressed up with copper electroplate and fittings made from both larger-diameter brass tube and some heat-shrink tube, both covered in graphite.


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Reached a milestone today - all the plumbing is done, with engine and boiler finished and installed.









I need to do a bit of detail work on the pipes to bring everything together - these parts were done months apart with some different techniques and I need to blend in the differences.


i still need to finish making the various tools, rig the gun, mast, flag and stack.  I finally received the flag I ordered...only to find I'd specified the wrong [expletive deleted] size...




So... I now have the *proper* size on the way, along with some lovely brass turnbuckles for the stack tie-downs.  


This adventure in online shopping *did* give me a chance to realize that the toggle-and-loop rigging I had for the flag was a bit out of scale.  I'm redoing that - using brass pins rather than 1/32" brass rod for the toggles.  Nobody uses 3/4" diameter toggles to hang a flag...  don't know what I was thinking! :D




Edited by crazypoet
Photobucket "issues"

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