Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A busy day ... but I have begun to build the first prototype model ironclad!

I have been very busy at work today, and when I got home I found quite a few 'small' jobs that needed doing; for example, checking my company's annual accounts and making my VAT return for the last Quarter!

As a result I did not manage to sit down to begin building my first prototype ironclad until after 9.30pm ... but I can report that despite the lack of time I have managed to make the model's hull.

In the end I opted to use a 2-inch/50mm wide piece of basswood, which is almost as light as balsa but not as soft. This makes it slightly more difficult to work but the tighter grain makes the finished article much better.

Once I had made the rough shape using a sharp modelling knife and razor saw, it only took a few minutes to round off the sharp corners with a sanding stick ... and I am rather pleased with the results.

With a bit of luck I should be able to begin work on the model's superstructure tomorrow, and finish the whole thing by the weekend.

6 comments:

  1. looking good - be nice to see the outline set inside a hex - re your post - the problem with all hobbies is the inexcusable yet inexorable intrusion of real life - it's so frustrating - who needs HMRC/Council Tax/Asda/NCP/East Coast Trains etc etc!!!!

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  2. Hi Bob,

    I wondered what you would use for the hull and basswood is not something I would have thought of. Certainly the closer grain will look better - every balsa hull I have seen as always looked like wood - no matter how many coats of sealer or paint!

    The great thing about these ships though has to be the sheer simplicity of the designs which means (in theory!) churning some out should be relatively straightforward.

    Will you be using plastic card for the superstructure? How about turrets?

    I am tempted to have a crack at some of these ships myself so will follow your progress with interest.

    All the best,

    DC

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  3. Ken H,

    I shall certainly photograph the finished prototype on a hex to show what it looks like. As to everything else ... well, that's life!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. David Crook,

    I bought some basswood in Hobbycraft some years ago, thinking that it was balsa ... and then discovered its advantages.

    Because the prototype is a Casemate Ironclad, I intend to build the superstructure from balsa and basswood. When I get round to making the turrets for the Turreted Ironclad, I am thinking of using wooden cotton reels, which are sold in some branches of Hobbycraft. If they are not available I will probably use wooden blocks that have been carved and sanded into shape.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Looking good. Is tha basswoood much harder to work than balsa? I too have pondered it's uses (I was in Hobbycraft yesterday!) but never bought any.
    Anyway, I'd better chase up my acccountant now!
    Tim

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  6. Tim Gow,

    It is harder and denser than balsa, and as a result it is better to use for certain purposes (e.g. model ship hulls) where you want to avoid warping. It also ‘takes’ paint better than balsa, and needs less preparation and filling between coats of paint in order to achieve a good finish. I have used it for bases, but cutting them took too long when compared to balsa because basswood is just that bit harder.

    Good luck with your accountant.

    All the best,

    Bob

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