The Shipyard 1/72-scale laser-cut card HMS Wolf build continues with details and lots and lots of little parts and a couple issues trying to follow instructions. Apparent progress has slowed somewhat, since hull construction is complete and I entered a phase of hull detailing. Still things are really flying along in comparison to wooden model ship building, and I managed to add the stern gallery with it’s decorative columns and windows.
As decorative as it looks, the stern gallery is not done yet. I discovered this when I went through the extra, non-paper parts in the kit and ran across the cast resin carvings. It’s all going to look very ornate for a naval brig, with more the appearance of a royal yacht.
Below is another view of the stern and quarter galleries. You’ll notice that there are not timberheads in place for the quarterdeck railing, which I’ll be installing shortly. There is another set of timberheads added to the forecastle railing as well.
And what would an 18th century sailing ship be without head rails? These are a surprisingly easy detail to add, using laser-cut card stock. The real trick is following the photographic build guide to make sure that all the parts called for are being correctly used. It is extremely easy to miss a detail, and I missed one here, though it’s not really noticeable.
If you look at the following photo, you can see that there are three headrails. Turns out that my top headrail is supposed to have another layer behind it, giving it more depth. I didn’t notice the issue until I ran across a part that I couldn’t identify, but looked like a headrail piece. A review of the instructions turned up the location for the piece, but it was too late – I’d already glued the pieces into place that showed the fancy laser-etched molding. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone can actually tell there’s been a mistake but me.
You’ve probably notice that the catheads are also in place. Each of these structures is actually made up of nine separate pieces. Positioning these pretty much requires a bit of eyeballing, as there is an outline on the frieze, indicating where the knee under the cathead should fit. The cap rail then has to be notched to fit the cathead into place, which is uncomfortably close to one of the timberheads.
The instructions called for the entire cathead to be painted yellow. But, since just about everything inboard of the bulwarks are painted red on this model, I decided to mask off the catheads and paint the lower portion red.
The next step was to add the railing at the forecastle and the quarterdeck, and to make and mount all the swivel gun posts. The instructions don’t really say anything about how to form the curves at the ends of these rails, so I just looked closely at the photos in the instruction book. Using very small dowels as former, I then just bent the ends of the rails into shape. I had to over-bend somewhat, until the bends held their shape
The swivel gun posts aren’t particularly difficult. The ones I’ve already installed along the waist are each made up of four pieces. The others are longer and have a couple additional pieces representing iron straps. While I work on these, I went ahead and made the ladder rungs that are on either side of the hull. This was a fun and easy detail, with two pieces for each rung. The hull has etched markings, outlining the position of each of these steps. They’re a bit difficult to see through the paint, but as I mentioned previously, the included paint has some transparency to it, so it’s good to use them rather than another brand.
Recently, I ran into my first real problem with the instructions. I could not, for the life of me, find out the part number for the molding around the transom piece, and there were a couple other parts I couldn’t find numbers for. I considered contacting Shipyard about it, but I kept looking and eventually found them. The problem is that there are many photos to follow, and many parts are identified in each photo. But, some parts are only identified in only one of them.
In the future, it might be useful to cross off the parts labels in the instructions, once the part has been used. As it was, there was more than one instance where I didn’t notice one of the part numbers, and continued on with the build, only to realize that there are parts on the model in the instruction photos that I haven’t put onto my own model yet. Then, it become a search through every past photo to see where I missed it.
There is also another issue with some parts. In photos, a part may be labeled, but also obscured by another part, so that you have to spend some time trying to figure out what you’re looking at, then hunt for the part number to see what it really looks like, then look back at the photo to try to understand where it goes. However, after a little study, it usually starts to makes sense.
So, the big word of caution here is to study each photo carefully as you go, and make sure you’ve dealt with all the labeled parts.
I’m now finishing up with the addition of the swivel gun posts. I have all the posts at the quarterdeck railing, and now starting to add the posts at the forecastle railing. Can you see the other new parts added at this stage? The molding around the top of the transom is one, the curved black fashion pieces at the aft end of the wales is another.
I’ll write about that next time. For now, here’s a sneak peek at some of the upcoming assemblies that will be going on the model soon…
looking at the sheets of parts still remaining in this kit, I can see that there’s a long ways to go on HMS Wolf, but progress continues.