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Caldercraft Brig Badger 1:64 (wooden ship model) - complete


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Seeing @Clunkmeister's Speedy build on here, I thought I would post some pictures of my first (and only) wooden ship model to show that I actually do build stuff here and there.  It's the Caldercraft Brig Badger in 1:64 scale.  As proof that I'm the slowest builder on the planet, this fairly simple ship took me five years to build.  In my defense, I had three kids along the way (my oldest and twins), so that took up quite a bit of time.  Every time I see it I'm reminded that I managed to get the rigging completed during the month I was in intense pain from having shingles on my back - felt like my spinal cord was being crushed in a vice, while at the same time, the skin on my back felt like the worst sunburn I ever had times ten.

I've got three other wooden ship builds in various states of progress that I'm working on as well, though they have taken a backseat as I work on plastic models.  Eventually I'll join you guys at the 1:32 scale, I promise :)

Anyway, here it is.  Pretty happy with how it turned out for being my first.  Sorry for the pictures, I didn't have the best camera five or so years ago to take proper glamour shots.

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Mike, that’s one sweetheart, and definitely a LARGE scale model.  I don’t think there’s a person around who doesn’t appreciate the lines of a trim little brig.  The covered Quarterdeck looks unique.

The crowsfeet and the white anti fouling (no copper) hull date this, when? 1780 or so?

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Very neat and lovely build. Congratulations :thumbsup2: !

As for taking time to complete a kit, 5 years is not bad compared to my standard. I have on the shelf, still waiting to be finished, a scratchbuilt 1/32 Aichi Hansa.

What is a Aichi Hansa, you may ask ? It is a Hansa-Brandenburg W. 29, licence-built in Japan in the 20s, motorised with a Hispano 300 hp V8.

I started it in 2008, before Wing nut Wings even existed and way before they released a kit of the w29. WnW is now defunct, and I still have to complete my version of the Hansa :rofl:!

Hubert

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11 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Mike, that’s one sweetheart, and definitely a LARGE scale model.  I don’t think there’s a person around who doesn’t appreciate the lines of a trim little brig.  The covered Quarterdeck looks unique.

The crowsfeet and the white anti fouling (no copper) hull date this, when? 1780 or so?

Well spotted!  Caldercraft dates it to 1778, and it was Admiral Nelson's first official command.  It was believed to have been captured during the American War for Independence.  Great kit to get my feet wet with wooden models - complicated enough to drive me crazy at times and come up with new colorful additions to the english language, but not too complicated that I ended up throwing it out the window or setting it on fire.

The three others I have going are a little bigger - the HMS Pegasus (Swan class 14-gun sloop), the Charles W. Morgan whaler, and what Euromodel markets as a french 40-gun frigate La Renommee, but from my research, I think it's actually a Swedish frigate named Jupiter (apparently there was an error in translation that passed through the centuries and the ship was misrecorded by the French).  I'll post finished pictures whenever that happens.  I'd post them as WIPs but they would be very dusty and filled with cobwebs.

Two other kits I have on the shelf are the Euromodel 17th century Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde and the Caldercraft Victory.  At some point when the kids go off to college maybe I'll have more modeling time to actually get to all these (not to mention the plastic kits that are slowly accumulating in the stash).

8 hours ago, HubertB said:

Very neat and lovely build. Congratulations :thumbsup2: !

As for taking time to complete a kit, 5 years is not bad compared to my standard. I have on the shelf, still waiting to be finished, a scratchbuilt 1/32 Aichi Hansa.

What is a Aichi Hansa, you may ask ? It is a Hansa-Brandenburg W. 29, licence-built in Japan in the 20s, motorised with a Hispano 300 hp V8.

I started it in 2008, before Wing nut Wings even existed and way before they released a kit of the w29. WnW is now defunct, and I still have to complete my version of the Hansa :rofl:!

Hubert

Wow very cool!  I hope you find inspiration to finish it, sounds like a really cool, unique subject.  Maybe we should race to see who can finish their longstanding build first? :) 

 

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3 minutes ago, harv said:

Holly crap that's good ! Thanks for sharing with us  !......harv :151_41_44_712.09472830013627761

Thanks Harv for the kind words.  I should have mentioned that I added some scratch details to the build like the anchor buoys and the furled sails.  The furled sails took me a good month or two just to research and experiment to find a way to get them to look in scale (trick was to reduce the size and shape of the sails by a good 2/3), and then add the additional rigging necessary for each sail.  

Lots of wooden ship modelers forego sails, furled or otherwise, as typically being out of scale.  To me though, a sailing ship without sails is like a plane without wings.  I'll probably add full sails to my Charles Morgan build - the ship looks really majestic in full sail.  You can actually visit the ship in Mystic, Connecticut too which makes it an even more fun build experience.  My daughter, who was about 3 or 4 at the time we went, kept referring to it as a pirate ship :) 

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Mike, School me on sails.  I’m like most, I tend to forego sails because they usually look out of scale. 

I WILL do sails on fore and aft rigged fishing boats though. 
I have a Fifie and Zulu Scottish coastal fishing boats in 1/64 all keyed up ready to go as my next wooden ships after Speedy gets finished. 

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56 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

Mike, School is on sails.  I’m like most, I tend to forego sails because they usually look out of scale. 

I WILL do sails on fore and aft rigged fishing boats though. 
I have a Fifie all keyed up ready to go as my next wooden ship after Speedy gets finished. 

Nice!  Looking forward to seeing that one come along!

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3 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

Nice. PE or wood?  
those guns.. 4 pounders?

The wheel is PE, and a very nice one at that.  It's very hard to find wheels made of wood that are in scale.  I bought a whole bunch from different manufacturers for my other builds but they all are slightly a bit too bulky.  Now that I have a Sherline mill and lathe, I might try to scratch my own.

The guns are indeed 4-pounders - you have a good eye!  I had to check the Jotika site to make sure :)  There are also a few 0.5 pounder swivel guns as well.  All those are nicely done in brass.  I used Blacken-It to blacken them.

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I need to plan a bit with Blacken-it.  Well, first, I need to buy some, no idea where to get it. 

I have some nice resin 4 pounders on Speedy, and Flirt us s similar. 

Swivels as well.  Sweet stuff. A whole nevrealm in modeling, one that seriously lights my fire, but I can’t go too long on it at one time, I burn out. 

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56 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

I need to plan a bit with Blacken-it.  Well, first, I need to buy some, no idea where to get it. 

I have some nice resin 4 pounders on Speedy, and Flirt us s similar. 

Swivels as well.  Sweet stuff. A whole nevrealm in modeling, one that seriously lights my fire, but I can’t go too long on it at one time, I burn out. 

Looks like Micromark (where I got it) discontinued Blacken-it.  I believe I have a few bottles and can always send you one if you are having trouble finding a suitable blackening solution.  You can also look for Birchwood Casey Brass Black, and Jax Chemical makes a bunch of solutions as well - blacks, browns, etc.  Rifle shops tend to carry these items from what I've heard, as well as Amazon used to carry them when I looked a few years ago.

Since I don't have enough hobbies, I got into pen turning last year and was directed to Caswell Plating to get some compounds and cloth wheels to go with a buffing machine to get that final shine out of the pens.  While on their site, I noticed that they carry a number of products to chemically color metals, etc.  I picked up a bottle of their green patina mix, as I was thinking about going with a green patina on the copper plated bottom of my Charles Morgan whaler.  Maybe check there?

https://caswellplating.com/metal-finishing-solutions/antiquing-solutions.html

 

What I really enjoy about wooden ship modeling is the use of all kinds of materials - wood, metals, cloth, line, plastics, etc.  When I started up models again a decade or so ago, I went with wood for that reason.  I didn't realize that plastic kits had made an exponential leap in quality, paints, all the aftermarket, etc. I do like the subjects of plastic models much more than the typical 17th-18th century British warship.  But, I've learned a ton about wood working, and it's been a lot of fun working with all kinds of power tools that you really don't need on the plastic side.  I've got a miniature table saw, mill, lathe, thickness sander, disc sander, band saw, scroll saw, and a micromotor.  I almost have more fun playing with those tools and trying to work with exotic woods like redheart, yellowheart, ebony, etc. to "paint with wood" than actually building a model.  Of course, it's all fun until someone loses a finger!

All that being said, there is a lot of repetitive tasks with wood ship models - planking, rigging, coppering.  To some extent it's therapeutic to work on a single repetitive task for a long time, but at times, it can be a bit much.  I tend to burn out and try something else out which is why I have three wooden builds going at the moment (along with a ship-in-bottle build, doh!).  

Once I get through my wood kits, I'll probably go right to scratch building.  I've got some plans for ships that I've wanted to build, but just need a little more experience.  I know that a lot of scratch builders jump to 1/48 scale from the more typical 1/64 or 1/72 scale kits, but I think I might go the other way and build smaller models.  Less of a footprint, and a little less costly as it sounds like a lot of the woods that modelers have used in the past like swiss pear, boxwood, holly, ebony, etc. are becoming increasingly rare.

 

53 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

I’m actually looking for the binnacle, Mike. That certainly looks like a hatchway ahead of the wheel, where a lighted binnacle would logically be.

I don't recall there being a binnacle on this model, and certainly don't recall building one.  It's kinda got a unique layout with the covered quarterdeck (which actually was the captain's cabin now that I re-read the manual - it was not used as another deck) and the galley house on the deck.

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16 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

1/64 is the perfect Man-O-War scale for me. Perfect size, big enough for a fishing boat, cutter, or whaler, small enough for a 36 Gun frigate.

I have a 74, the Bellerophon in 1/72, but I’d prefer 1/64.

I think 1/64 is a great size.  My Victory kit, like your Bellerophon, is 1/72 but that might be out of necessity given how massive that ship was.  Though, there is an Amati 1/64 Victory in the works that is close to completion that looks amazing.

I was working on the Corel Unicorn which I was going to convert to its sister Lyme class ship, the Lyme.  Unfortunately, the Corel kit was off in too many ways for me to keep going on with it, so I scrapped it.  With all the research I did, I decided I would scratch build the Lyme when my skills got a little better.  All that being said, I ordered the Lyme plans from the National Maritime Museum and had scaled them to match the scale of the Unicorn kit which was 1/75.  The NMM plans are 1/48 - that is a really big jump in size.  I think the model would jump to close to four feet in length.  It's one thing to do a battleship in 1/200 scale that hits four feet or a little more, but these wooden ships tend to be very much taller and wider, especially if you put masts and spars on.  So, I'll probably drop it down to a smaller scale.

On the other hand, some subjects are smaller and would be just fine at the larger scales.  A friend has plans of the Philadelphia gunboat that are in 1/24 scale I think that he got from the Smithsonian I believe.  The detail in the plans was incredible, down to the size and type of nails used.  It would be a big model at 1/24, but still much more manageable than a ship of the line in 1/64 scale.

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  • I’ll probably end up with Victory in 1/64, if for no other reason than to support Chris and Jim

Chris designed it, and Jim built he test model and developed the book.

I’ve stated publicly before that I’ll buy everything Chris brings out in 1/64, if for no other reason than to support his Company, Vanguard Models. 

I’ll be buying his Duchess of Kingston as well.  I’ll be ah they’re eye wateringly expensive, but when you realize the year+ It takes to build one, and the superb quality of he raw materials he uses, they’re quite inexpensive. 

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Chris is really amazing, and probably one of the preeminent ship kit designers in the world.  I believe he designed the Pegasus kit I'm working on for Amati, and the kit is so well done in all aspects.  I think he might have also had a hand in the Caldercraft Badger, but could be wrong.  Hopefully he gets some kind of royalties from future sales of the Victory.  I thought that the kit is now the property of Amati, but maybe I'm mistaken.

His Duchess looks really nice. Reminds me a lot of the Pegasus.  I posted on MSW a while back how I could see how he designs kits for structural integrity and to make things as easy as possible for builders.  His kit designs for placement of the gunports are great!  I had to cut 28 gunports out of the hull on my Le Renommee, and it was hours, if not days, of work to make sure that each was symmetrical with the bulkhead on the other side, in the correct sweep, etc.  That kind of building I absolutely hate doing, which is why after I cut out and lined the gunports, it's sat on a bench alone to think long and hard what it did to me.

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6 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Thank you guys, means a lot coming from fellow modelers of your skill level.

Like many who do wooden ships, I’m basically stuck on late 18th and early 9th Century British and French ships of the Napoleonic are. I’d love to do a heavy American frigate as well, but I’m not good enough to scratchbuild yet, and there are no decent kits at all of them.

Most kitmakers concentrate on those years...

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10 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

Like many who do wooden ships, I’m basically stuck on late 18th and early 9th Century British and French ships of the Napoleonic are. I’d love to do a heavy American frigate as well, but I’m not good enough to scratchbuild yet, and there are no decent kits at all of them.

Most kitmakers concentrate on those years...

Isn't the Constitution a heavy frigate?  There are a few kits out there, though from what I've read, there's all this controversy over the proper number of windows on the stern.  I checked Bluejacket but didn't see any.

When you get to the point of scratch building, I think you can find plenty of plans at the Smithsonian.  A friend mentioned that they used to put out a catalog of the plans they have on file.  Might be a place to look.  I think I mentioned earlier that the Philadelphia Gunboat plans were amazing - some of the best I've ever seen.

 

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