Monday, May 21, 2007

HMS Bellona in the Early Stages

One of our members brought in his model of HMS Bellona, which is in the early stages of construction.The builder has doubled the number of frames that were on the plans he had. The number of frames in the model is half of the number of frames in the actual ship. This building method involves cutting out a hole in a board that allows the indexing of frames that have been made extra long at the top end. This lets the builder align the frames and keep them rigid as the building of the model proceeds. Later on the frames will be cut away from the board and construction will go on from there.
With this model the builder has added abutments at the end of the board that allow him to work on the model while it is in a right-side-up position. Here can be seen the installation of one of the lower decks. The planking is in place and detailing is proceeding from there.
The black surfaced object here is a piece of wood that has had one surface painted black. It will then be cut into strips that will be used for planking the decks. The black edge gives the appearance of caulking. An alternative to this is to have a number of planks stacked together and held fast at the ends with some glue. The edges are then covered with black paint. The result will be similar. Another method I have seen used is to glue strips of black paper to the edges of the planks.
Part of the detailing that is added to the decks is a large number of grates. One of these can be seen under construction here. The builder of this model built a jig that is used with a small table saw. Building a jig is a very common practice to produce these grates.
This is another view of the model under construction. This building method has definite advantages and it is used by many modellers.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mare Nostrum Work in Progress

This is a model of a fishing trawler in 1:35 scale. This is the builder's second wooden model. He built the Boston Whitehall Tender shown earlier.
Artesania Latina produce this model kit, which comes with plans, wood stock for planking and many fittings. The instructions for this kit are fairly good. The bulk heads and other parts have been precut with a laser. In this kit the manufacturer has done a very good job with this as the precut parts did not need any further adjustment.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tool for Digitizing Text and Plans

The rig shown here was built from scraps of aluminum angle material along with some machined bolts and wing nuts. On the cross bar at the top a threaded rod holds a digital camera in place.
With adequate lighting in place to minimize glare from the flash unit on the camera, text, plans and other such things can be placed on the table below. Material being photographed in this way is always square to the lens and a fixed distance away.

This makes it very easy and quick to photograph text and plans for digitization using optical character recognition (OCR) software or graphical tracing software.