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Ben Ain

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  • This topic has 98 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Richard Simpson.
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  • #118396
    Richard Simpson
    Participant
      @richardsimpson88330

      During this time the steam plant was also being put in place.  This included a manual feed pump, a gas control valve to conserve gas, two battery packs for the lighting and the receiver etc.

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      #118400
      James Hill 5
      Participant
        @jameshill5

        Hi Richard,

        This has taken a lot of your time to write and post this and is much appreciated, so thank you again. From the pictures it’s very interesting to see the mix and match, so to speak, of kit and scratch built items and makes the model the better for it.

        I know the firm BattleCraft do a compete kit of parts for 1/24th Puffers and I may use them for things too akward to make but I’ll make as much as possible myself ( Even in plasticard, which I’ve used a lot on the model railway ) I thought the inside of the bridge looked very realistic.

        Many thanks again,

        Jim.

        #118401
        Richard Simpson
        Participant
          @richardsimpson88330

          Many thanks for the comments Jim.  Yes, there is Battlecraft and it is always worth a look through Shapeways, although you need to take care as regards strength of the items.

          #118402
          Richard Simpson
          Participant
            @richardsimpson88330

            As most of the Ben Ain build happened at a point in my life while I was working away at sea I frequently took bits and peices away with me to work on in my free time on the ship.  One such project happened when I came to start looking at the ship’s boats.  They were supplied as fibreglass mouldings and, while the detail on the outside was OK the insides needed quite a bit of work to get to what I was after.  They built into perfectly good models as I had seen on other examples but not with the internal planking detail I wanted to show.

            03-05-08-10MountFleetBenAin57

            It was while I was mulling this part of the build when I attended a show at Harrogate and just happened to see a very nicely built little model of a clinker built boat.

            11-05-08-18HarrogateRowingBoatMary2

            I had a chat with the guy on the stand and discovered it was built from a Harold Underwood plan of a Smacks Dinghy, purchased from Brown, Son and Ferguson, Ltd, Glasgow.  I obtained my own copy and set about looking at how I could adapt it.

            #118408
            Fred Ellis 1
            Participant
              @fredellis1

              Hi Richard

              I have been reading this article with interest, and looking at the photo’s your work is up to Museum standard, I just don’t know how you have found the time to research and then make all the detail that you have put into this model, let alone write this article.

              Fred

              #118409
              Richard Simpson
              Participant
                @richardsimpson88330

                Like I said Fred, it’s been going on for well over 20 years!  Luckily I beleive in taking plenty of pictures during a build so I always have a basis to put something together.  The research was the sort of thing I could do at work while I was sat in my cabin in an evening.

                 

                #118410
                Richard Simpson
                Participant
                  @richardsimpson88330

                  So let’s look at the build of the ship’s boats in a little bit mor detail.  The Ben Ain was fitted with a clinker construction ship’s lifeboat on the starboard side and a clinker built ship’s dinghy/jolly boat on the port side.  The Underhill drawings were for a dinghy so I started with that.  The proportions of the drawing were not quite right so not only did I have to resize the drawing but I had to resize it a different amount vertically and horizontally.  After a lot of messing around and a good deal of paper I ended up with plans to the correct size and proportion.  This was used to build the keel and then to create the profiles, which were cut from the paper plan and then transferred to plasticard sheet.  This eventually gave me the building jig.

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                  #118411
                  Richard Simpson
                  Participant
                    @richardsimpson88330

                    So with the jig ready, the edges of the frames were marked out in even spacings to generate the shape of the planks, the planks were cut and steamed and glued to the hull.  This took a long time as I wanted the previous plank to be thoroughly set before I added the next one so just the planking went on for a couple of weeks.  I notched the transom as I went along to get the best possible fit.

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                    Finally the planking was done and the hull could be removed from the jig.  Not perfect, it is only 1/32nd scale!, but I was very pleased with it and it was just the right scale look I was after.

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                    #118412
                    Colin Bishop
                    Moderator
                      @colinbishop34627

                      Really clever Richard, superb work.

                      Colin

                      #118413
                      Richard Simpson
                      Participant
                        @richardsimpson88330

                        Many thanks Colin.

                        #118416
                        Richard Simpson
                        Participant
                          @richardsimpson88330

                          So with the basic hull shape complete it was just a case of adding the remaining woodwork.  Frames were 1mm strips cut from the same planks, softened in hot water, I went through a lot of them!, and glued in place with supports to keep them vertical.  A thwart stringer was added for the thwarts to sit on and knees were made by drilling a hole through a plank then cutting across the plank at 45 degrees.  The bottom boards were assembled from the plan and glued in place after varnishing the undersides.

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                          #118417
                          Richard Simpson
                          Participant
                            @richardsimpson88330

                            Then, with the main woodwork done, it was time to pander to my obsession with detail and start to add the internal bits and pieces.  First of all a coat of paint on the outside, a spray can of Halfords grey primer was followed by a coat of Humbrol white enamel.  The detail peices then included a canvas cover made from foil tape with the gum removed, folded over to sit on the thwart and painted up, oars made from bamboo skewers and planking with heat shrink for the leather rowlock protectors, ropes, anchor, lifting eyes, rowlocks etc..  Eventually I had a ship’s Jolly Boat I was happy with.

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                            So instead of using the kit supplied parts and putting a boat together in a couple of weeks or so I ended up taking around three months building this example.  I then had to face up to the fact that I had another boat to build for the starboard side!

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                            #118439
                            Richard Simpson
                            Participant
                              @richardsimpson88330

                              With the Port side boat done I could then turn my attentions to the Starboard side boat.  For this boat I had to adapt the building jig to give me the appropriate shape of a double ended lifeboat.  With that done the process was pretty similar to the other boat.  As this boat was a lifeboat I fitted it out a little differently by adding a rudder, a mast and boom with a sail, a water barrel, rope grab handles and a towing bollard.  I also fitted a locker in the bow for provisions with a couple of doors.

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                              #118440
                              James Hill 5
                              Participant
                                @jameshill5

                                Really nice work Richard. My plan shows a similar boat on board, so somewhere down the line I’ll have to try and make one as well.

                                Jim.

                                #118441
                                Richard Simpson
                                Participant
                                  @richardsimpson88330

                                  What is the scale you are building to Jim?

                                  #118442
                                  Richard Simpson
                                  Participant
                                    @richardsimpson88330

                                    So with the two boats done it was time to turn attentions again to the quarterdeck accommodation unit.  This was basically simply adding bits and peices to it until it was done.  Some bits were from the kit parts, some bits were aftermarket items and, again, some bits were scratch built, usually for a higher level of realism.  For instance the boat stands were fairly chunky cast white metal parts, which looked much better scratch built from stripwood and then bolted to the decking with small brass BA nuts, bolts and washers.

                                    First up was an overall coat of Halfords primer to help identify areas that needed attention.

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                                    The funnel was enhanced with some butt straps made out of paper with the pounce wheel run over the back of it.

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                                    Then time to get some top colour on.  The accommodation is a mix of Humbrol matt orange enamel and brown enamel, which can be very slightly varied to give some tonal differences.  The funnel was a matt black enamel with slightly varying amounts of black satin added.

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                                    Meanwhile the wiring was fitted for the lights.  There will be a stern light on the aft of the top deck and bulkhead lamps on the internal bulkheads.  The internal surfaces were all given a coat of waterproof primer to protect it from condensation.

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                                    I decided to use a push plug to transmit the power into the peice.  This was mounted in the unit, with the matching part mounted in the deck coaming so the two parts simply pushed together when the unit was fitted in place.  It saves trailing wires when you lift the unit up that get in the way and prevent you putting the unit where you want when you lift it off.  It is completely dependant on the accuracy of the fit but, get it right, and it seemed to work reliably.

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                                    #118443
                                    Richard Simpson
                                    Participant
                                      @richardsimpson88330

                                      The boat platforms were attended to next.  The softwood beams built into the box structure were supported at the ends by stands that sit on the bulwarks and gusset plates and the boat davit holders and suports were scratch built up from strip wood and copper tube.  When the platforms were finished the first attempt at some falls were put together.  I changed these later as I didn’t like the look of them.

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                                      #118444
                                      mmcp42
                                      Participant
                                        @mmcp42

                                        looking amazing – love the attention to detail

                                        cheers

                                        Mike

                                        #118445
                                        Richard Simpson
                                        Participant
                                          @richardsimpson88330

                                          Many thanks Mike.

                                          #118449
                                          James Hill 5
                                          Participant
                                            @jameshill5

                                            Great pictures Richard, thankyou.

                                            I’ve managed to stay logged in a the moment. I’m building in 1/24 scale. I’m using a Vic Smeed plan @1/4″ to the foot and doubled it up, so the hull length is 33″ long.

                                            Is the Halfords primer you use Acryllic? if so, how well does it work with enamel paint?

                                            Jim.

                                            #118481
                                            Richard Simpson
                                            Participant
                                              @richardsimpson88330

                                              The primer is Halfords acrylic primer.  I have used it many times over the years as a primer for enamel to go over it.  I think the key to any successful paint job is to A) Always do a compatibility test under similar temperatures and humidity etc and B) Always wait for previous coats to thoroughly cure, not just dry, before adding anything on top.  As you can see above acrylic primer in a rattle can with brush painted enamel over it works fine.

                                              As for boats Quaycraft make some very nice examples in resin, available from Cornwall Model Boats and this chap on Ebay does some equally nice resin ones.  For his you measure up the size you want in your scale and simply order the appropriate size.

                                              Resin Boats

                                              Or you can be as mad as me and build one from a plan and planks of wood!

                                              #118505
                                              Richard Simpson
                                              Participant
                                                @richardsimpson88330

                                                Probably the only remaining large piece of structure is the forward hatch cover.  This was a basic ply box with softwood stiffeners, decorated externally with white metal castings to represent riveted angle iron and fitted again with a pre-printed ply overlay for the hatch boards.  Again I preferred to cut individual planks for the hatch boards so these had to be cut precisely to length in a jig I made, then drilled at either end for the handles.  The backs of the handle holes were then closed with a peice of paper that was painted up to blend in with the plank.  Later handles will be fitted and the holes blended in with some weathering.  The cover was made around the coaming to ensure a perfect fit.  The two stripes visible down the length of the hatch boards are simply selotape holding them in place.

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                                                #118506
                                                Richard Simpson
                                                Participant
                                                  @richardsimpson88330

                                                  The raised accommodation was basically structurally finished so it was simply a case of add the rest of the bits and peices, add detail and paint and gently weather it all.

                                                  The flue was finished by fitting the steam exhaust up the middle of it, supporting it at the top so the steam exhaust comes out of the model funnel.  A shroud was also incorporated that sits on the safety valve so, if that lifts, the steam goes up the flue and does not make a mess inside the hull.

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                                                  The two servos were mounted onto a removeable tray so they could be completely dismantled if required.  Once the two servos are disconnected and the two nuts removed from the screws at the gusset plate the entire tray swings down then drops away from the securing lugs at the front sides.

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                                                  #118507
                                                  Richard Simpson
                                                  Participant
                                                    @richardsimpson88330

                                                    The remaining work now on the aft unit is the detailing.  Standing rigging was made from the copper core from servo leads, connected to working bottle screws by working shackles and connected together with home made brass eyes.  The cable was secured with small pieces of heat shrink tube cut and shrunk on and secured with a spot of cyano.  The grey paint was not only to give a galvanised appearrance but it also helps the bottle screws from slowly coming undone over time.

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                                                    The whistle was scratch built from scraps of brass tube and rod and glued to a length of copper tube.

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                                                    #118508
                                                    Richard Simpson
                                                    Participant
                                                      @richardsimpson88330

                                                      The vents were supplied as cast white metal cowls and handles which were supposed to be glued to the top of peices of wooden dowel.  I wanted my vents to actually do the job so I drilled out the cowls in the lathe, made an internal brass sleeve and faced up a couple of pieces of brass tube.  The handles were fitted into drilled holes, marked out in the lathe to ensure accurate location.  Finally they were both decorated with some rivet straps made from heavy paper and the pounce wheel.  Finally a paint job finished the vents off.

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                                                      Finally the water tank was shown as a square tank but in my plan I was convinced it was a round tank.  It certainly semed more likely to me so I decided to make mine round.  Consequently my wife’s best garden broom lost about an inch and a half of the end and I put together the makings of a water tank.  Straps were made from shim brass, bolts were brass BA screws and fittings were bits of copper cable and brass bits.

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