Building The Armed Virginia Sloop Paper Model – Part 5

Little Steps

It’s been almost exactly one month since I received the 1/100 scale Armed Virginia Sloop from Seahorse, with construction just a few days short of that. Progress has been really good, and now I’m plodding along with the little steps. As I mentioned before, I ordered the remaining optional accessory sets for this kit, plus I ordered the belaying pins set as well. Hoping to get these soon.

In the meantime, I added the swivel gun posts, using parts from the optional laser-cut details set, and I also used one of the paper pieces that cover up the face of the posts, so you don’t see the multiple layers of paper.

I showed these parts last time, but I’m showing them again here to illustrated how small these things are. Now, I’m sure this is nothing to paper modelers, as they’re used to dealing with tiny parts all the time. In fact, even though this is a 1/100 scale model kit, which is very tiny in the world of wooden ship modeling, in the world of paper ship modeling, this is pretty standard, maybe even on the large size. And, of course, the kits provide only the exact number of parts needed, so I’ve already spent a lot of time search the floor when I dropped one of these a couple days ago.

Mounting the completed swivel gun posts was pretty straight forward, though I had to hunt to find a good image that showed exactly where these go. A rigging plan showed their placement, showing them dead-center between gun ports. For the forward one, I centered between the gun port and the cathead.

If you look closely, you might be able to see that I also added the channels or chain wales. I discovered that it’s easy to accidentally put these on upside down and backwards, so I looked carefully at the layout of the notches for the deadeyes. The notch that’s closest to the end of the channels belongs at the forward end. The placement also has a notch that fits around the swivel gun post, and fitting the channels confirmed that the swivel gun posts were positioned properly.

Not sure what to do next – I just chose the timber heads. These are kind of rectangular pieces that stick up through the caprail near the bow. They serve as tie-off posts for some lines. The problem I had with these, is that the kit requires that I essentially construct six 6-sided boxes that are probably not much more than about 2mm wide on a side. Now, there are probably some incredible paper modelers here that can do stuff like this – I’m certainly not one of them.

Being a wooden ship model builder by heart, I could have made the parts from wood. But, as this is a paper model, I thought I should take a more multi-media approach, and I happen to have some polymer clay that I’ve used to make some pretty tiny items. So, I broke out a pack of Premo! polymer clay, which is made by Sculpey. It works the same as Sculpey, but seems to be firmer. I just cut a slice just about 2mm wide, then took that and cut it into some 2mm wide strips. From the strips, I cut small squares.

I did some final shaping of the squares, making them more rectangular by slicing off some excess. Then, I even tried to trim them so they were slightly trapezoidal, but that was hard to do at this size, so I just did my best, put them on a small piece of aluminum foil, and baked the bunch in a toaster oven.

I glued the hardened pieces into place and then painted them, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

Finally, I finished the rudder by adding the provided paper strips for the rudder irons. There are two sets of parts. Clearly one is for the rudder and the other is for the rudder post. They’re not identified in the instructions as to which is which. I kind of guessed that the longer parts were most likely the ones intended for the rudder.

The instructions also called for rolling paper into a 1mm diameter tube to simulate the hinge part of the straps. Again, this is a magical paper modeler spell that I haven’t learned to cast yet. So, I just cut pieces of 1mm brass rod and glued them into place instead. I’d like to say it worked great, but it’s so small a detail that no one will every be able to see it.

A lot more details to go…






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