Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Conversion of a WWII “Big Gun” Cruiser to a Guided Missile Cruiser - Now Completed

The model in the background is the completed conversion of USS Boston as detailed in the post of November 26, 2006. The model in the foreground is of USS Los Angeles, the ship kit from which the USS Boston was built. These are both Baltimore class heavy cruisers.
This drawing of USS Boston was copied from a magazine, modified according to photographs and resized to 1:700 scale in order to provide a plan from which to make the modifications to build the model.
This is another view of the two ships from the reverse angle. This will allow comparisons between the two ships. You will notice that the shape and width of the stern is very different.

The construction of the tower mast structure amidships used an interesting technique. Double sided tape was laid down on a surface. The modeller drew the plan for one side of the tower on the tape. He laid plastic rod down on the drawing on the tape, cutting each piece to length on the tape. He then applied a small amount of liquid plastic glue to each joint. When the glue set the piece could be removed. This was done for the front and back of the tower. The following assembly task was relatively easy.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Beginning Nonsuch

Shown here is a model of Nonsuch in the very early stages of construction. Nonsuch was the ship with which Radisson and Des Groseilliers voyaged to Canada and founded the Hudson Bay Company in 1668. This model is being built in 1:96 scale (1/8 inch to the foot). The coin in the picture is a quarter.
The two halves can be seen here held together with clips. Once the research has been done and adequate drawings either having been obtained or drawn the first stage of building the model in this case was to carve a plug using the inside dimensions of the hull.This plug is then cut into five sections as can be seen here. There are two outside parts and three inside parts. Once the hull has been constructed, the center part of the plug can be removed. This allows the other two inner pieces to collapse inward and be removed after which the two outside pieces can be removed.
The various sub assemblies are held together with pins. This allows removal and adjustment until the parts must be finally glued or otherwise fastened together.
As can be seen here grooves have been cut where the deck shelving timber and other key longitudinal beams will go. As well there are lines drawn on the plug to indicate the location of key frames.
The model will be planked on the top portion only, leaving the inner detail below open for viewing. The builder chose to build this model exclusively from holly and ebony in an attempt to simulate the look of prisoner of war bone ship models of the Napoleonic era.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ship in a Bottle

The club has had a number of meetings where the art of building a model ship in a bottle has been discussed. We have had it in mind to do a ship in a bottle as a club project but that has yet to happen.

One of the reasons for this is that building a ship in a bottle is a very personal project. Another may be that not everyone enjoys the same type or brand of booze. Everyone I know who has given instruction on building a ship in a bottle has said the first step is to drink the contents of the bottle.

Actually what is really being done with a ship in a bottle is that the modeller is building a small diorama or scene in a bottle that has a ship in it. As you can see from the ship in a bottle shown here, there is a small island with a light house and the ship sails safely on the ocean nearby.

Building a ship in a bottle requires a set of skills very specific to the task. One must be able to sculpt and paint an ocean setting. The modeller needs to build all the necessary tools, as no manufacturer makes them. To finish off the model one also needs to be able to tie that fancy knot that goes around the neck of the bottle.

The other essential quality needed to build a ship in a bottle is a great deal of patience. There is a great deal of deserved satisfaction that goes with completing one of these and every one of them becomes a family heirloom.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fairmile Hull

This is a hull for a Fairmile 'B' in 1:24 scale (½" to 1 foot). The sheet of paper under the model is part of the set of plans being used for the model's construction. The hull is fiberglass and would be very suitable for a radio control model. In this case I believe the finished model is destined for a display case and not the pond. Hopefully there will be more to report on this model at a later time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Conversion of a WWII “Big Gun” Cruiser to a Guided Missile Cruiser

In 1952 the US Navy converted two WWII heavy cruisers to carry the Terrier I missiles. USS Boston was the first one to emerge in 1955 with new bridge, superstructure, mast, funnel, missile launchers and fire control gears.
USS Boston CAG 1

There is no plastic kit available for this ship in 1:700 scale. Revell makes one from the 50’s in a larger scale. A 1:700 scale model of the Boston was built by modifying a Trumpeter kit of the USS Baltimore.

Baltimore Class Heavy Cruiser

The hull, the main deck and some of the fittings were used. The rest was scratch built from styrene sheets and shapes.

The conversion as shown is not quite completed. The model is now at the stage shown here. There is more to be done and you can see some of the work involved in the process.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Plans for HMCS Haida

One of our members has produced some very good plans for a number of ships. Shown here is a plan he has drawn for HMCS Haida.He has produced plans for Haida as she appeared in 1944 and in 1963. The plans are in 1:96 scale and include general arrangement profile, plan and hull lines. The plans are available for purchase from The Hobby Centre.

This may seem like a commercial plug, but it isn't. We are just proud of our members' accomplishments and their contribution to the hobby, which we wish to share with others.

1:700 Waterline Ships

One member specializes in building 1:700 scale waterline ships. Another way to put 1:700 scale is to say that 1 inch in scale is equivalent to 58 feet 4 inches. At most meetings we will often see three or four of these ship models. Although most of these models are built from plastic kits there are exceptions to this.
Some of the model kits are very limited production run resin models. Resin is a cast material that requires much patience and quite a bit of experience in order to get good results.
Other models start out as die cast metal toys. In most cases these require quite a bit of work to make into accurate scale models.
1:700 scale waterline model ships have their advantages. There are many model kits in this scale. The models do not take up much room. There are many after market detailing products available.

Their small size and wealth of detail always attract attention wherever they are displayed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Radio Control Sail Boat

The first picture here was in an earlier post. I am showing it again along with some detailed views of the boat. I think I will just let the photographs speak for themselves. I think the builder did a beautiful job.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Impressionist Model Building

This tug boat model was built very quickly with spare parts and bits and pieces of this and that lying around.
The builder did not use any plans, although he may have looked at some photos for reference.
The goal of the builder was to convey his impression of a tug boat as a working boat.
I think he did a very good job at conveying that impression.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


This waterline model clipper ship looks very good in its display case. When a model is in the planning stages, among the things that should be taken into account are where the model will be displayed and what kind of a case will be built for it.Every ship model should be put in a case. A case acts like a picture frame in that it sets the model off and makes it look its best. A case keeps curious and destructive fingers from poking the delicate rigging that has taken many hours of painstaking work to achieve. A case keeps dust off a model, which would become very fluffy in very little time without a case. About the only negative thing that can be said for cases is that they make photographing the model inside very difficult.

Just to speak briefly on where a model should be placed, there is one major no-no. A model should not be displayed anywhere where any sunlight can get at it. A model that has taken three to five years to build can be completely ruined in less than six months by displaying it in a place where direct sunlight can get at it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ship's Boats

These are a couple of ship's boats. I think they were built to go with Confederacy but I am not sure about that. They are each about four inches long.If you have a very close look at them, I think you will agree that the detail is amazing.
Although practices varied, I think that when the ship model that these will be part of is completed these boats will be stowed on the deck with their tops down. Since the ship will be in a case the detail you see here will not be visible.

Continental Ship Confederacy - Under Construction

The United States Continental Congress around 1785 had a number of ships of war. Among them was one called Confederacy. One of our members is building a model of this ship. While searching for some information on this ship I found a page with a model of this ship under construction by another modeller. The construction method for building the hull was so similar that for a moment I thought the pictures were of our member's model.
This model is being built with a complete interior. Some of the planking will be left off so that the interior detail can be seen. Building a ship model in this way calls for a great deal of thought and judgment. While making the interior visible one wants to also convey a pleasing overall look to the model. I believe the builder is very much achieving a good balance with this.
The photographs shown here were taken almost a year ago. I hope the builder will bring this model to a future meeting so that we can see his progress with it.