Category Archives: Paused Projects

Building Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe, 1627 – Part 5

For me, it seems that there is a danger in working on paper models. I find these things to be so engrossing that I have a hard time taking a break to do other things. I’ve been working on the Schwarzer Rabe pretty steadily for a couple weeks now. Almost a week ago, I had made a comment on Papermodelers.com that I was probably posting my last update for a while, as I get back to working on some other projects. But, I never stopped this one. Here it is, a week later, and I’m still trying to make myself shift gears and get some other needed work done. We’ll see if that happens after this post.

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Building Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe, 1627 – Part 4

Planking of the Schwarzer Rabe is coming along well. I’ve now gotten well into the planking below the waterline. Planking the lower hull seems much easier than the upper hull. With the upper hull, the treenails show, and they need to line up along the imagined frames. Also, the gun ports and other similar features have to line up properly, so a lot of attention goes into these planks.

In above photos was taken just as I was about the reach the waterline. So far, things seem to be looking okay. All planking strips are edged with brown paint to hide the edges. The individual lines of planks have been scored as well. This serves to make the planking look a little more realistic, but it also allows the planking strip to curve more easily, adapting to the shape of the hull.

I still have a little issue with the hull flattening out a little between the frames, but I did my best to minimize this by inserting a blade under the flat areas of the plank strips and pushing them back out a little. I then fill the resulting gap between the hull and the planking strip with a little extra glue for support.

At this stage, there’s really not much to say. Below the waterline, my biggest concern is keeping the hull more or less rounded. Also, I have no way to really gauge how well I’m covering the hull.  Am I going to have any gaps or any overlap at the end. Past experience has taught me that I’m certainly going to end up with one or the other.

Since I’m cutting the planking strips along the black lines with those lines mostly showing up on the edge of my planking strips, I’m guessing that I’m going to end up with a little overlap at the end. Whatever plank I end up trimming in the end may look a little odd, but it will probably look a lot better than having gaps.

But, I am thinking that once the lower hull is planked, I’ll be treating with thin CA to stiffen the planking, then sanding the hull down a little, to reduce any burrs or ridges formed from the cutting process. I expect I’ll paint the lower hull too, or at least give it a wash of paint. That should subdue those black plank lines. The printed paper is a bit pure white, so I may tone it down a little bit.

In any case, planking the hull is somewhat self motivating. I’ve gotten so much of the hull done now, I’m looking forward to finishing it up before I take any kind of break and work on something else – Remember, this is a model I started as a filler project to work on when I’m tired of working on other things. That said, it’s feeling a lot less like a filler project right now, and I’ve started prepping the parts for the stem/beakhead and the sternpost/skeg.

As a parting pic of today’s post, the above are two of the 6 pieces that will make up the beakhead. There is a kind of scrollwork that shows through here. On the top piece, I’ve carefully cut away all the black printed areas. You can see the black printed areas in the bottom piece, which I’ll “carve” next. After I finished cutting, I treated the scrollwork with some thin CA to harden it, and keep it from getting damaged later.

As soon as I can get the beakhead and the keel all done, I’ll be able to work the mounting. On my first paper model, HMS Alert, I used simple brass rods. This has a very clean and minimalist  look, which I like. But, I’ll see how things go when I come to that.

It’s a bit out of sequence, but I’m kind of itching to work on the deck area a little. Not sure what I’ll do, but you might see some details get added – at least ones that I don’t think will get in the way or get damaged while I’m working on the outer hull.

Building Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe, 1627 – Part 3

As you may have noticed, I’ve now officially elevated this build of Shipyard’s 1/96-scale paper model kit of the Dutch fluit Schwarzer Rabe to a full fledged project, with its own place in my Ship Model Build Logs menu.

It seems that after completing the 1/72-scale Hanse Kogge Bremen laser-cut paper model, for which I did not maintain a build log here, I was itching to keep up with the paper models. I wasn’t really sure if I had been doing a good enough job with my Dutch fluit Schwarzer Rabe, but I thought I should give it a chance. So, I continued the build this weekend, adding more details to the hull, and starting a blog on papermodelers.com, which I will basically echo here, or vice versa.

As we last left this build…

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Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe – A brief update

After three weeks of taking care of my 95-year-old convalescing mother, I am now taking her up to stay with my older sister for a while. My sister is retired and lives in Washington state, so the journey from the central California coast is a long one. For safety reasons, and in order to carry everything my mother will need, we are traveling by train – a bedroom aboard an Amtrak sleeper car. It’s certainly not the most luxurious way to travel, but it works, and we get to see some beautiful scenery. 

Travel means that this ship modeler again finds himself without a ship-modeling project for several days. However, I was fortunate enough to have had a paper model kit to work on for a bit, and very much enjoyed the time I got to spend on that.

I won’t go into a lot of detail, except to recap that I ordered a model kit from Ages of Sail, a Shipyard paper model kit of the 17th century Dutch fluit Schwarzer Rabe. Don’t ask me why a Dutch fluit has a German name – I don’t know. But, it is a nice looking ship, at least in the way that the manufacturer portrays it. The ship was a real ship and participated in the Battle of Oliwa in 1627 between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Navy and the Swedish Navy. The Schwarzer Rabe was part of the 1st squadron of the Polish side of the battle. One of her opponents was the Dutch-built ship Papegojan, of which Shipyard also makes two kits. 

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Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe – A Paper Model Saves the Day

It’s a happy day when a paper model kit shows up to give me back a taste of ship modeling again. Last week, my Dutch fluit model kit showed up in the mail and it didn’t take me long to open it up and get started.

As I mentioned before, family health matters have me stuck in the house where I grew up, with no trace of ship modeling material except text and images on the Internet. In order to give me back a small part of my absent ship modeling self, I ordered the paper model kit from Ages of Sail. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to build the Dutch fluit Schwarzer Rabe (Black Raven) or the Dutch pinnace Papegojan. Both paper model kits are available and in 1/96-scale. I ended up buying the Schwazer Rabe for about $38. But, looking back, I realized that there is a special edition set, The Opponents of the Battle of Oliwa, which contains both kits. Didn’t really matter though, as Ages of Sail, where I got my kit, doesn’t stock that particular product. But, it’s out there somewhere.

Anyway, the Schwarzer Rabe kit is plenty of project work for the duration. The kit was a little under $40 from Ages of Sail and can be purchased here. The kit is a 1/96-scale paper model kit from Shipyard of Poland, and measures just about 16″ when complete.

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HMS Mercury Paper Model – The Build, Part 5

HMS Mercury’s Cannons

Before I can put too much of the interior detail into place, I really need to add the cannon carriages and probably the gun tackle too. The main reason is that if I am going to add any amount of gun tackle, I need some room to add ringbolts and blocks and such in the tight confines of the model’s interior. This will be more difficult if I try to do this after adding other interior furnishings.

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HMS Mercury Paper Model – The Build, Part 4

The 1/96-scale HMS Mercury paper model continues. Since my last posting on the subject, I’ve been considering posting a little more regularly to the build logs on this site. I’ve traditionally posted in more regularly on major ship modeling forums and posted larger summaries here. But, for various reasons, I think it makes more sense for me to post more details here.

We’ll see how it goes. It would mean more frequent, probably shorter posts. I just don’t want to overwhelm my blog here with a lot of small posts that aren’t of particular interest to all visitors. I may have to reorganize this site a little, so that build log posts aren’t part of the main stream of posts on this site. Everything is a work in progress…

HMS Mercury’s Stove

Having some interior detail is one of the interesting aspects of these Shipyard brand kits. I don’t know if I’ll be using all of the interior furnishings, but certainly want to include the major ones, even though these will be extremely difficult to ever see inside the completed model.

I built the stove straight from the kit, with a few modifications. I don’t know how the stoves external gear functions, but there is a what looks like a chain driven mechanism, apparently for turning a spit. The chain drive was printed on paper, two gears and the connecting chain, and it was just too hard to cut out as a single piece. So, instead, I cut the gears out and then just added wire to represent the chain. I also used a heavier piece of wire for the external axle.

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HMS Mercury Paper Model – The Build, Part 3

To begin with, I have to revise something I stated earlier about card modeling being challenging.

The biggest challenge about these Shipyard paper model kits is a mental one. When you get one of these kits, you instantly see a gazillion parts, and you have to cut out each and every one, plus you might decided to cut out windows instead of using printed windows, etc. That’s intimidating.

So, I’m finding that approaching construction of one of these kits is a lot like tying ratlines on a ship model. You can’t think about all those knots you have to tie – you just have to start and do one at a time until you get to the end. Building this model is about baby steps. You can’t count how many baby steps you have to take, you just have to take them one at a time and keep on going.

HMS Mercury Progress

First off, I glued the new pieces into place in the fo’csle and then added the doors back on. If you recall, I’d added the doors earlier and then decided I didn’t like printed windows. So, I removed them and the related partitions and cut out the window panes and used canopy glue to add the “glass”. In addition to the doors, I also finished the inner bulwarks pieces at the bow.

As you can see in the photo below, I still have to “edge” the gun port sills with red paint.

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Awe Inspiring HMS Mercury Build on German Paper Modeling Forum

Since I’ve been on the subject of paper ship models anyway, I wanted to give some attention to the German card model forum Kartonbau.de. Now, it is a German site, and the forum entries I looked at were all in German. However, you can connect to it through Google Translate and that seems to work very well.

On the forum, I ran across a build of the same HMS Mercury kit that I have been working on, a 1/96-scale model from Shipyard. However, there is a world of difference between the German builders model and my own. It’s very inspiring, but it is also making me take a second look at my build and making me think I need to go back to square one!

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HMS Mercury Paper Model – The Build, Part 2

I’m not a paper/card modeler, but after building Shipyard’s paper model of HMS Alert, I enjoyed the project so much that I tinkered with a couple other subjects. I have two of them at the moment, and like with my ship modeling scratch build projects, I start on a few different ones until one of them stands out and calls to me to be taken to completion. That’s actually how HMS Alert came to be. I had no particular plans to complete the model initially – it was just a tinkering project.

Now, one of my current paper model tinkering projects is  Shipyard’s 1/96-scale HMS Mercury paper model kit. The ship is a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth-rate frigate. As I mentioned before, there is a 1/72-scale boxed version where all the parts are laser-cut instead of printed, but that kit is around $500. Mine is about $35 at the North American distributor for Shipyard products, Ages of Sail.

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