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About lars_opland

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  1. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thank You very much, Terry & Stuart! We of a certain age recall when most articles in any modelling magazine, on any genre, included lots of scratch-built detailing, much of it in stretched sprue & sheet plastic, in olden times before photo-etch was "a thing". Terry, if you're a 1954, so am I! Cheers, -Lars
  2. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thanks Will, I figured the gangways won't hide these 5 guns on each side, but the 2 stacks of boats will leave only glimpses here & there. Still, glimpses of something will be better than glimpses of nothing. That's my story & I'm stuck with it! I can also claim truthfully enough that rigging these 10 is needed practice for the 12 smaller pairs (24 tackles = 48 blocks + 48 "lines" + 24 bent wires) on the upper deck, which will be far more visible. To be continued. Cheers, -Lars
  3. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Here's a little more progress on gun tackle, as of tonight. All of these heavy tapered brown sprues were off-cuts from plugging the kit's shroud holes, conveniently sized for the blocks. Dividing the job into "bite-sized" sections, 10 sticks were selected & drilled at one end for the 5 guns in the port side waist... ...bent wires were added... ...& on through the steps as for the first tackle assembly... Only the best & oldest fingernail clippers for snipping off the excess. There are many more "blocks" in these scraps: Getting the wire ends into the holes in the slide beds isn't the easiest task, but touching the joins with a little CA quickly finished the task & all outer ends are level with the slide beds: That's cutting it a bit closer than intended on the spread at the outer ends, but this will work: Cantilevered stretched-sprue gun training tackles. A little paint, & breeching lines through the rings on the cascabels, will see these five done: 'Til next time, Cheers, -Lars
  4. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Hi All, A couple of small matters pushed forward over the past weeks, finishing the fore fighting top with a strip selected to nearly match the thickness of the one around the main top & cut to width... The liquid cement under the first strip was allowed to dry until the next evening, then the ends were sanded flush to the sides of the platform & a second piece was pre-bent for the forward corners. This was liquid solvent bonded & secured with small rubber bands to dry overnight. I fussed with alignment of the edges for a minute or 2 while the cement tacked up: There. A little fine sanding to clean up the edges & that's 2 different tops from the same part: I didn't want to attempt rigging the gun tackle at this scale with blocks & thread (especially considering the planned assembly sequence ahead...), so dug out the stretched sprue again & chose a couple heavy sticks of brown styrene. A hole was drilled near one end of one of them with my smallest bit & equally thin steel wire was bent near it's end, CA glued in the hole & clipped off thus. The same bit was used to drill holes in both sides of 10 carronade beds, just above the wheels: Using a strip of styrene to get the brown stick & wire to rest at about the right angle, a piece of thinner stretched sprue was liquid cemented to it at a right angle: Having determined that 15mm would be about the right length for these, I glued a second stick of styrene there after turning over the tiny dried assembly on a subsequent evening... ...& on yet another evening, another bit of the thinner stretched sprue was cut to length & glued across, opposite the first one. Again, this was allowed to dry until the following evening when I beefed up the joins with tiny drops of CA. This stretched sprue applicator is one of my favorite disposable home made tools. These can be thin enough that they won't easily disturb tiny loose parts while the too-fast-acting CA is being applied: That'll do. I can even CA these in place like this, because they'll end up level across from gun to gun, level with the beds & close to the hull sides when the hull is closed up, without needing to be fastened to the interior. I figure I need 19 more tackles for the 10 guns that can be more-or-less easily seen in the waist area...& 24 slightly smaller ones for the fo'c'sle & quarterdeck batteries... Thanks again for looking in. Cheers, -Lars
  5. lars_opland

    D.H. 83 Fox Moth, half scratch

    Hi Stephen, In this genre, internet image searches will often find only the tip of the iceberg. Because many pre-WWII civil types are less well known, their photos posted hither & yon are often mis-captioned & will only appear while you are looking for something else entirely, or searching for images under the name of a pilot who flew the thing or a company that owned one. Even on museum web sites, I often find gems captioned simply as "an airplane", "a biplane", "a floatplane (or "float plane")", "plane on skis", etc. Happy hunting! "Moa", old friend, I am loving this! Cheers, -Lars
  6. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    USS Constitution had gotten badly hogged too. There are articles on line about how they fixed that in dry dock, but the U. S. Navy is still much involved with that one. "Unicorn" needs a "sugar daddy", or a major seaport that wants a mascot...or something... The old shipwrights would scoff at all this, of course, & recommend to "just drag 'er up on the hard, burn 'er, salvage the metal & build another". Modelers face similar (but much smaller) dilemmas every time one of us weighs a major conversion vs. a scratch build. If you HAD a fully staffed, fully supplied late 18th Century ship yard, the choice would be easy.
  7. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thanks again, Sarge, Kris & All, I'm down to trickling out these short posts now because that's how this project is going now. It's almost summer in Alaska &, with so much daylight & such a short warm season, we tend to head outdoors & take on "other projects"...1:1 scale garden sheds & such, like the one on MY "Honey-do" list this year. So the crew is beginning to shape up. The Medieval-looking crew figures from the old Lindberg Wappen Von Hamburg & La Flore kits are dressed in tunics & tights, with odd Sou'wester style hats... (hat already trimmed back to more of a knit cap here)... ...so I shaved down the hems of their short "skirts" a bit & started building up trousers & shirt sleeves with acrylic artist's gesso. This took several passes over as many evenings, adding extra heavy blobs from the thickened stuff on the inside of the bottle cap to the backs of the ankles & knees, kneecaps & arms. The guys on white sprues are from Preiser figure sets, both N gauge & 1:144. The Preiser figures have so much smaller heads that I also built up the sides & backs of their heads to better match the Lindberg figures. The 6 deadeyes I'll mold are also here: Here are the 2 climbing poses derived from the first photo above. There's another, sitting, that hasn't gotten "the treatment" yet: Here's the rabble so far. The 2 figures in upper left were Preiser 1:144; the other white sprues indicate Preiser N gauge, which is called 1:160 on the box. Both seem convincing enough among the kit figures: Hoping to have more soon, Cheers, -Lars
  8. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thanks Sarge, Sorry about that; hard to escape the nautical jargon with a character like me building a model like this. "Nauticalese" often uses familiar words in unfamiliar ways; in this case the "channels" are the wide boards fastened to the sides of the ship, on edge, to spread the shrouds & backstays (ropes holding up the masts) wider than the ship's beam (width), giving them more mechanical or geometrical advantage in holding up the masts. Later, in the days of steel cable stays & turnbuckle adjusting, shrouds & backstays were brought inside the rails because they were much stronger, didn't stretch nearly as much under a load & thus didn't need to be spread so wide any more. The sheer is the curved line of deck &/or rails as seen in profile. This curve can vary a lot from one design to another, & is usually calculated as the top of the rail on vessels with continuous rails...which Surprise doesn't have. The deck rail (or deck wale) is the raised strip running along the outside of the ship at upper deck level. The kit had channels notched right into this deck rail, so I had to fill all those gaps, but Surprise's design makes the current task easier by giving me something to butt the channels against while I fiddle with all this test-fitting & notching. The shrouds are the ropes ("lines" in proper seaman's parlance; "rope" ceases to be rope as soon as it is put to any particular use...) that reach from the big mast platforms down to the sides of the ship & support the masts against the loads of wind & rolling. Chainplates are iron hardware that connects from the deadeyes at the bottom ends of the shrouds, over the edges of the channels & down to the sides, below the gun ports on this one. I'll be gluing another strip of styrene along the outside edges of the channels to cover all the notches once chainplates & lower deadeyes are in place. The method for calculating the necessary total combined strength of a ship's shrouds is pretty basic, but interesting: The total combined tensile strength of all the shrouds (& their chain plates, bolts, etc.) ON ONE SIDE must be adequate to lift the total tonnage of the ship. This was helpful for heaving down to do bottom work, as well as for sailing. Cheers, -Lars
  9. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Hi All, Not much to tell, but enough for an update anyway. All 6 channels are cut to size, trimmed to fit against the hull sides & slightly bent to follow the sheer along the bottom of the deck rail, here held in place with temporary shrouds so all the chain plate notches can be "eyeballed", marked in pencil, & notched: There are several gauges of black annealed wire in the wire bin here, but this is the thinnest I have & will do for chain plates &, later, footropes. Looks like I'll need to buy more before this is over. The smallest after-market deadeyes that I have been able to find, from Artesania Latina or Model Shipways, seem to be 2.5 mm in diameter & are perfect for main & fore lower shrouds. One of these from AL was crimped into a loop of the black wire to determine finished width & depth of the notches needed, which came near enough to 1 mm by 0.5 mm. The notches were whittled out with a #11 blade: 2.5 mm isn't small enough for the mizzen shrouds or topmast shrouds though, & the spacing between some of the channel notches won't even allow for it so, failing to find dowel small enough & doubting wood to be a great choice for this anyway, resort was made to the styrene strip stash again, where I located a tube of .080" rod by Raboesch Super Styrene (made in Netherlands, current availability unknown). A short length of this was chucked into the Dremel & given shallow notches by turning against an X-Acto saw. After making small locating divots in the end of the rod with that #11 blade, one of my smallest wire gauge bits was used to drill just deep enough to reach through the first deadeye. The outer face already sanded smooth & edges rounded by twirling against 320 sandpaper, my jeweler's saw was now used to begin the cut between the first 2 deadeyes. That kerf should begin all the way 'round to a shallow depth first though, the saw put down & a small file used to bevel THOSE edges a tad before the tiny deadeye comes loose from the end of the rod. The cutting-off should be done over a bin positioned to catch the parts, definitely NOT over shag carpet. The fresh cut will want shaving smooth with the hobby knife & the holes want some clean-up with the drill, & it's even useful to roll each of these about for a few seconds between a couple of sheets of 320 grit paper. This isn't near enough yet, but I'll choose the best 2 or 3 of these, glue on tiny sprue gates & take them to the molding table along with some of the most useful modified crew members (not ready yet), for resin copies: These 2 sizes match closely to the deadeyes shown on my scaled Admiralty draft. There are smaller ones aloft, certainly, & the "cheating" will begin soon enough after the rigging job has begun, but that's somewhere ahead yet. For now, Fair Winds! Cheers, -Lars
  10. lars_opland

    1/700 USS Arizona (Hobbyboss)

    Hi Tom, Looks like you're off to a good start on a fine kit. I've never seen a HobbyBoss ship kit before, but I can say you chose well. If the Revell Indianapolis is the old Matchbox kit, as I'm assuming it is, then these moldings outclass those by miles. One thing though. In spite of all the thousands of how-to articles that have been published about painting armor & vehicles, the only way to make one of those truly difficult is by going for a gloss 2- or 3-tone civilian scheme & factoring in chrome details. Military stuff is nowhere NEARLY as complicated to paint in most cases because the basic "challenge" amounts to making a monochrome dull flat scheme appear more interesting by adding dirt, dents, tools & rust...not necessarily in that order.... If you're all moved in yet, do carry on. If not, I wish you luck with that. Cheers, -Lars
  11. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thank you, Kris, So far, all I've done is turn one frigate kit into another one & get a few things painted along the way. Still making parts but will soon (soon in a relative sense) turn the corner & start building. Then comes rigging...& the crew.... Cheers, -Lars
  12. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thanks Jeff, Welcome aboard! Cheers, -Lars
  13. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thanks Stuart & All, Still finishing up deck furniture here. Wire belaying pins have been added to the mast bitts (USCGC Eagle has "fife rails" around the masts; not sure when they started calling them that), & I included the kit's beakhead bulkhead here to show where the tan part came from: ...& the parts are painted, except where they'll be glued to the decks: The Captain's day room has been painted out with Testors Radome Tan overhead, Military Brown bulkhead & this rather dark Flat Sky Blue in the privy: The lid for the (fictional) skylight was fabricated from bits of an old CD box, edges to be evened up later with an emery board: Channels are cut from .040" styrene & temporary shrouds rigged to hold them in place (under the deck rails in the Admiralty draft) while places are marked for the chain plate notches, main mast first to see how this would all go... The notches were kept to a jeweler's saw kerf at first, then the parts are re-positioned, discrepancies marked in pencil & offending holes widened only in the direction they need to go... Getting incrementally closer! Cheers, -Lars
  14. Hi Andy, I like this thread; those big Revell sub kits continue to tempt me though they aren't my usual thing, & your work on the rails is awesome. One question about that: Do you plan to add some of the wider areas as molded on the kit rails? IIRC, these can be seen in U-boat photos & appear to be foot & elbow rests for lookouts or some-such. I love what you've done with the flood port details! That's the thing about bigger scales. The "detail threshold" gets smaller as the model gets bigger, so more things need to be added to avoid an unfinished look. Around 1:32 or 1:24, hex bolts need to be hex bolts & screw heads start wanting slots.... Keep up the good work & ALWAYS have fun! Cheers, -Lars
  15. lars_opland

    1:147 HMS Surprise

    Thanks again, folks, Mike, I don't mind discussing the history or the practical aspects of sailing here at all. Sail trim & points of sail will be relevant to the rigging process here anyway. The most efficient point of sail for most vessels, regardless of rig, is the "broad reach", or sailing directly across the wind. On this point of sail, forward motion translates to increased power long before the relative movement of ship & wind brings the latter too far forward to be caught by the sails. Running straight down wind is often represented as a fast ride by ignorant authors, but a moderate wind becomes less relative wind & less power as soon as the ship begins to move, plus only the total sail area of one mast is actually exposed to the wind, so it is generally the slowest point of sail. Ships will also generally tend to "roll like pigs" when the wind is not steadying the ship by pushing from one side, which also produces far greater wear & tear on sails, cordage & spars...not to mention the incidental mal de mar. Thank you too, Sarge; just rig a snorkel & stick to the shallows...it's not like a tank has never been to sea before.... # ;^)## Cheers, -Lars