Building The Armed Virginia Sloop Paper Model – Part 7

First off, my apologies for leaving parts of previous posts at the end of my most recent post. Sometimes I get in a rush to get something posted or I get a little tired, as I often write late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. I clean these things up as soon as I see them, but I’ll try to be more careful in the future. Meanwhile, this Seahorse kit is coming along, slowly now, but surely.

Eyebolts and Rings

I finally sat down and started making metal rings and eyebolts. I made a couple dozen metal rings and about a dozen eyebolts. Then, I sat down and counted up how many more eyebolts I’ll need, assuming I want to do the model right. Looks like I will need about 80 more! Most of these are for the rigging of the cannon carriages, and at this scale some are less important to include than others, so I might actually use fewer. But, 80 is the actual correct amount.

I make the eyebolts and rings using 28-gauge black annealed steel wire. I’ve had this same roll of wire for as long as I’ve been ship modeling, which is somewhere around 30 years now. The size is probably a bit large, but I think finer wire would be harder to work with, and it might not be strong enough to hold lines tightly.

To aid in making the loops, I wrapped the wire around a drill bit that I had put backwards in a pin vise. Of course, it also requires the use of very fine pliers and wire cutters.

Many people might not want to go to the trouble of making these tiny metal parts. They are, after all, commercially available. However, the ones that are available are far too large for a model of this type. Making them is a somewhat slow process, and it takes practice and patience. But, then again, that pretty well describes modeling making in general!

New Paint

Now, we get down to a somewhat dangerous step that I decided to take on, and that’s the changing of the color of the decks. Dangerous, only in that an attempt to change the color of paper parts could ruin the appearance of the whole model. So, I made a thin mixture of paint and tested it and re-tested it many times on scrap paper included in the kit.

Finally, when I thought I was as ready as I’d ever be, I put paint to the deck. It was like jumping into a pool of water, not really sure how warm or cold the water is, or how deep it is…

I think the paint worked out. It soaked into the printed paper quite easily, so I’m glad I did a lot of test first. My only experience painting paper models is mostly with Shipyard paper kits. In their paper kits, the color printed parts are printed a glossy paper, which does not really absorb paint at all. Below, you can see the before and after pics…

The new paint gives the model a warmer look, more akin to a wooden ship model. So, some paper modelers might not like the new look.  I’m quite relieved that it worked out okay, but also happy with the results.

Meanwhile, I ended up spray painting all the 3D printed cannon barrels I recently received. For this, I used some Tamiya Matte Black acrylic spray paint. So, now they look nice and uniformly solid, but not different enough from their unpainted appearance to warrant taking photos.

Using What I Had

While I didn’t have nearly enough of these little metal parts as I’d eventually need, I went ahead and used what I had made. For the main hatch, I used the rings to simulate handles by simply gluing them into place so that they’d be in opposite corners of each board.

Eyebolts are needed in various places along the caprail. There will be many others needed later, so these are just the first.

By the way, now that I’ve had the decks painted for a couple days, I’ve had a chance to think about how they look. I really like the color myself, but that’s probably because it appeals to my wooden ship modeling background. The original color in the kit may actually make more sense when looking at the overall appearance together with the deck furniture. I didn’t really consider how that contrast looks until now, as those pieces begin going into place.

To continue with the decks this color, it might have been better to add some darker brown to the finish of these pieces. After all, decks may look weathered, but deck furniture should be better taken care of and probably not be dingy, weathered gray. So, what to do now? Maybe I’ll just leave it alone and move on – I’m not sure.

While I ponder this, it’s time for me to make more eyebolts and rings.

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