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Knight Templar 1872 Iron screw steamer

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@Murdo, thanks you for those kind words!


I eventually gave the sea a couple of coats of Humbrol Gloss enamel varnish, thinned with naphtha thinners, brush-painted. It has given quite a depth to the colour, it did not react with the acrylic paints underneath, and should give a good, robust surface. Today, I removed the cling film to see what I had:






Thankfully, the ship did not pull out of the base as I got the film out, and the few areas where the filler came up too have left a hint of wake along the hull sides. I will have a bit of a play with that another day, but will have to bear in mind that the Knight Templar would not get up a great speed, even with the steam engine going full blast. More is less, I think the saying is.


My other task today was to start some of the other 'detailing' for the ship, and I decided to start the ship's boats. I had thought about this quite a bit, and decided to attack the issue from two sides. There are five boats in three styles, so I copied the plans and cut out (over-sized) the top profiles for each of the five, and used a Pritt Stick to glue the image onto some balsa wood:




I needed about ten minutes work on each boat to get it somewhere in the right ballpark. I used a scalpel blade and sanding sticks:




Each of the boats are a little too deep, and they still need a little tidying up, but the next thing was to peel off the top profiles and stick them to some laminated plastic card (3x 40 thou):




These will be my Plan B, if the balsa ones do not work. The balsa ones all need a little trimming down, especially near the bows because the black outlines on the profiles are the outer edges of the boats, and I did not get close enough. It all looked okay through my reading glasses that I use for modelling, but in those photographs I seem to have missed by a mile! The images are about double real-life model size mind.


I now have to think about how to seal the balsa wood prior to painting, I may be needing to pay a visit to a shop or two and have a look at Bertie's Gesso and sanding sealer. At least I tested negative for Covid today, so at least I have got rid of that now, even though I do still feel totally bushed.


That is it for today, thanks for looking,



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I started to deal with the second option for the ship's boats today, mainly because I was not that happy with the balsa boats. They still needed quite a bit of sanding down, and as they are small, I needed to grip them a bit harder, and started to squash them! The plastic ones are a bit more robust. Took a lot of sanding though, but eventually I got three of the five pretty much done:




I still need to sand to the outline a bit more, but at least this time I used the magnifiers  rather than my reading glasses, so I got closer than on the balsa versions. I then added a keel and bow stem with some 0.5mm rod:




These will be tarpaulin-covered, so I will not be hollowing them out and putting the boards in. The bow stems have been trimmed and will need a little sanding to blend in properly, but at least I know now where the bow is! I have also laminated another three pieces of 40thou card to remake one of the boats which was going to have been too small - it was obvious in the last update which one and I was not happy with it as it was. It was the one with its nose sticking out over the front.


I have also started on a bit more of the structural detail. On the plan view, there appears to be a series of skylights along the main deckhouse. I have interpreted this as being full width of the deckhouse, and 15mm fore and aft in 1/300 scale. I measured and cut out two 'gable ends' and fitted them to the deckhouse:




I mentioned when I re-re-restarted this build that I had encountered a few 'hitches' which put a stop to the project as I could not work out how to solve them (sails, winches, crew etc), but there was a fourth problem, how to deal with skylights. I had looked for 1/350 scale etch ones after someone helped out after a plea for assistance but I never got any of the etch suggested. I have though, got a cunning plan. I measured and cut out some paper to act as the skylight, then transferred that to clear plastic card and cut the shape out. I scored down the middle and bent the card to fit the 'gable ends', then painted the inside of it with some black enamel paint. It has turned out to be quite thinly applied, which is what I was after.




The idea is to add some thin strips of masking tape (8 each side port/starboard) to represent the glazing, which is probably what shattered in the heavy seas on her final voyage. I will then paint the outside of the panel with Humbrol 26 Khaki and give it some varnish, and hopefully when the masking comes off I can see murkily through the thinned black paint inside.


That is it for today, I feel like some progress is now finally being made. Thanks for looking and for the comments and likes,



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23 hours ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

This is all very creative.

Cheers Bertie, I might have used 'bumbling' instead but the system works, sometimes!


Today I got the angled lid for the skylights onto the gable ends. I used Glue'N'Glaze to stick it together, along with some masking tape:




This reminded me I needed to do something about those cabin windows, where the Humbrol Clearfix had turned white. Once the 'lid' had set, I used a scalpel to clear out the Clearfix, then popped in some Glue'N'Glaze instead this time to redo the windows. There was also a slight gap along the bottom of the angled roof either side of the deck, so that was filled with the G'N'G too.




One of the Clearfix'd windows had actually dried clear, so it stayed. You can see the bead under the edge of the skylights, still showing white. It will be repainted tomorrow or sometime.






It has now been a good couple of hours since I took these photographs, and I am pleased to say that the windows are now clear.


That is it for today, thanks for looking, Ray

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@Bandsaw Steve and @robgizlu, thanks for those kind comments.


I have had to halt this for a short while as I have been over at my parents looking after them as Dad is Covid +ve, he has been quite bad but is now on the mend, and has done very well for a 93 year old.


I will get back to this as soon as I can.


All the best everyone,



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all. Firstly, can I say a big 'THANK YOU' for all the kind wishes. I am pleased to say that my Dad has recovered well from Covid, it was scary times there for a while. All those thoughts were very greatly appreciated.


I have tentatively re-re-re-started Knight Templar. A little while ago I had the lovely task of creating 16 identical masks for the skylights for the top of the main deck house. A simple task, 3mm x 1mm! Ha! Could I cut straight? Could I cut identical lengths? No! I eventually managed almost identical, so I suppose that was a Yes! after all. I laid a strip of tape down to mark out the lower end of the glazing, then added the masks to that and spaced by eye, and they turned out not too bad in the end:




I then gave that three coats of thinned Humbrol 26 enamel Khaki (I had painted the underside of the clear plastic with a thin coat of black to create depth for the skylights). As I was doing so, a niggling thought kept creeping into what passes for my brain. The skylight housing was not on straight!




For that matter, nor was the small piece of decking in front of the funnel cutout. I decided that I could not cope with either of those staring at me each time I looked at the model, so I removed both bits. Thankfully, I had glued the skylight housing with PVA so it came off very easily, and the small decking came off with a scalpel eased under the edges, despite having been glued down with Tamiya liquid cement. Before I removed the skylight housing though, I got rid of the masking to see how my plan had worked with the black thin paint underneath:




It had given the effect that I wanted. Some of the Khaki lifted when I removed the tape though, which was a surprise. I was going to make another skylight and redo the lot, but I accidentally placed the newly released housing back onto the deckhouse, and it aligned as good as gold, so I have stuck it back down with PVA again. I had been concerned that the glazing would have been out of alignment due to the original skewing, but it looks okay at first glance:




I am also now happier with the small decking area which is where the flying bridge will be fitted. I had also made up the small hatch on the far right of the picture, an oblong with some masking tape around the edges to give some raised detail. Another smaller deckhouse is in progress for slightly further aft, and I have still to work out how to do the steering equipment at the furthest aft - it is a funny shape! I will retouch the paintwork around the skylights, but at least the thing is no longer crooked!


It is a short and sweet update, but I have enjoyed the small progress.


Thanks for looking, and thanks again for all the best wishes,



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On 9/22/2022 at 2:43 PM, Bandsaw Steve said:

Pleased to hear that your dad pulled through; must be a tough old rooster I reckon.


Both the model and the sea-scape are looking great and are inspiring me to press on with Xantho!


Yes, he is tough, Steve. Thanks for the comments, and I am looking forward to Xantho's progress, I note you have got on well with it already!


As for the Knight Templar, I have not been idle these last few days, but have been pottering around with two further deckhouses aft. One was fairly tall but square and freshly built by me, the other was oblong and low, and had been built (roofless) way in the dim distant past. My issue this time was how to deal with the glazing on these parts. On the main deckhouse skylight I had used clear plastic for the roof (I know there is a nautical term but...), painted the underside with a thin black enamel, then masked the panels  on the upper side before painting the brown framework. It worked quite well, but was less confident about it working at this smaller size. I chose to paint the two deckhouses brown, then masked the framework and painted the glazing gloss black. That worked quite well too, in my opinion anyway:




Thankfully, I had thoughtfully looked at the plans again, and realised that the square deckhouse had access to a stairwell down to a cabin, so there had to be a doorway. Guess who forgot the door? Yep, lil ole me! I rectified that, as can be seen on the masking tape between the two deckhouses. I have also to admit that a slight liberty was taken with the number of skylights on that smaller deckhouse, there should be six either side, but I could only safely mask four. Anyway, I was quite happy with the results:




Then it was time to consult the plans again to fit the two structures. I again used PVA (Deluxe Materials Glu'N'Glaze) to fit them. It grabs well, and any excess squeezed out when fitting can be cleaned off with a damp cotton bud.




The general arrangement of all the fittings follows reasonably closely with the plans, but don't look too close, this is turning out to be more of a ship 'based on Knight Templar' rather than accurate. I have tried to get it right, but there have been a series of cumulative errors occurring, but again I am happy with it as it is. I only have two more major,things to make for the main deck; the aft steering station, which has a weird shape, and the anchor winch, which will be a challenge. There are also a number of smaller items, like the bitts and two binnacles, along with the forward steering staion and flying bridge. The funnel was fitted too today, it needed some CA gel to deal with it. This is where Knight Templar sits at the moment:


DSCN9103 (2)


DSCN9104 (2)


DSCN9105 (2)


I think I will paint the Clearfix'ed main cabin windows gloss black while I can still get to them as they look a bit odd being clear while the rest are black. I quite like the slight angle the ship is sat at on the head-on shot, I hope it is within the realms of possibility.


That is it for today, thanks for looking and for the 'likes' and comments,



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@Bertie McBoatface, I don't know, you and your language! I'll get you back yet heh heh!


Today was a day for making small parts. Here are some bitts wot I made:




See Bertie I told you!


I also decided to get the rear steering station started. I have taken the decision to alter the shape of it so I can actually make something that was feasible. The original shape was more pear-shaped, but I could not quite work out the whole design. A reminder of the plans:


Knight Templar 1872 002


The station is on the far left-hand side of the plan view, and you can see how bulbous the shape is from the top. It looks like there is an roof-like upper, and those darker areas look like they are almost like 'wings' on the side of the structure as there is a thin line on the side elevation above. The whole lot seems to be on supports, with one of the ship's wheels to the fore, with one of two binnacles in front of that. I have chosen to do the rear station as a rectangular structure as I was unable to get something curved like the plan shows.


I started off by laminating two sections of 40 thou card, then skinned the two longer sides with 5 thou card. I then popped a strip of 0.8mm rod along the centreline of the upper part, and skinned the pitched 'roof' with 5 thou card, trimmed all overhanging edges, then skinned the fore and aft section with 5 thou.




At this point (halfway through my description above), it looked like I had nicked something from a Monopoly set! However, after a little sanding, something more presentable was found hiding under all the excess plastic:




I will drill some holes into the underside tomorrow and attach the supports, which I hope is what it should be like! I have some North Star etched ship's wheels, and some of those are exactly the right size according to the plans, and I will use that as a guide for the supports.


That is it for today, I thoroughly enjoyed the day even though it was only small stuff dealt with.



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12 minutes ago, Ray S said:

steering station started


Hm, alliteration. Very poetic.


13 minutes ago, Ray S said:

only small stuff


There's a famous book called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff but whoever wrote that wasn't thinking of models was he? These tiny pieces pull perspiration past the pores, phew! 

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18 hours ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

Hm, alliteration. Very poetic.


Bertie, just for you, I can confidently, cautiously and cordially confirm construction continues, carving is creating copious contraptions, ceasing upon completion of this classic civilian carrier of cargo.



Edited by Ray S
Altered a word
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4 hours ago, Ray S said:


Bertie, just for you, I can confidently, cautiously and cordially confirm construction continues, carving is creating copious contraptions, ceasing upon completion of this classic civilian carrier of cargo.





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Thanks Mr Bandsaw! I remember that build, and it was an inspiration.


I have mentioned before that a series of cumulative errors have happened to this build, another one that has been bugging me is the drilled holes I put in to accept the (presumable) coal scuttle hatches about three years ago. Something went askew, and they ended up slightly aft of where they should go. As it is, if I were to add the davits to the correct point in relation to the main deckhouse and funnel, they would be under the forward set of ship's boats, but on the plan they are forward of them, and just slightly aft of the funnel base. I decided to fill the holes, so I added some PVA to bridge the gap, then used some Perfect Plastic Putty to level the lot off. I had put some tape around the holes to help protect the slightly engraved deck:






It seems to have worked okay. I have now given that a coat of ColourCoats Teak to try and blend it in. I will add the scuttle hatches when the davits and ship's boats are rigged.


Talking of which, I have tried to make the ten davits. I needed to see what method was best, so I trialled 0.8mm brass rod and plastic rod, and bent them to shape to find out how easy it was, and which was less painful.




The plastic rod was easiest and least painful, as plastic bends quite well. So I decided to use the brass. Here is the toolkit I used for the next hour or so:




The brass rod is self explanatory. The battery was used to help form the first curve in the rod, by the rod being pressed by the thumb (yes, part of the toolkit!) over the battery. This formed a slight bend. The newly bent rod was placed on the work surface, then the handle of the file was pressed into the curve of the bend, and the rod was pulled upward, while I was pressing down on the file, to create a tighter curve. The tweezers were then used to give the curve a little more or less bend to get the curve better (by trapping the rod up near the thicker end of the tweezers and then pulling or pushing as required), then the side cutters trimmed the curved section to length. The pliers then were compressed hard onto the end of the curve to create a 'flat' which is where the falls will go. Finally, the side cutters trimmed the davit to an over-long length, ready for more accurate trimming when the time comes to fit them. Once I had the first one done how I wanted, I made the other nine using that first one as a guide and I got into a nice, easy rhythm, while listening to 'Doremi Fasol Latido' by Hawkwind and was transported into realms of ethereal musical delights. Now, most modellers would have an excellent toolkit full of bespoke products for their allotted tasks, I have to admit I resort to the 'Heath Robinson' method and imagination. Please note, especially for the more delicate, that no thumbs were punctured during this procedure




I will go through that lot and pair them up so like is with like, so any irregularities will be less obvious, but of course I will let you, my friends, know.


On the plans, it looks like each davit is attached to a small square-ish base, so I have trimmed out some 5 thou card and drilled a hole into each one in readiness. I intend to drill through the deck and get all the davits in place and get them angled ready for each of the ship's boats. When that is done, I will pop some enamel paint onto the ends of the davits, and while it is still wet, touch each boat to the davit, and any paint transferred should dell me where to drill to fit the falls. It sounds like a plan, I hope it makes sense! 


It has been another good day, and it went a lot better than I expected. Thanks for looking,



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