Tag Archives: Paper Model

An Intro to Card Models – V108 Torpedo Boat

For those of you looking for nice tutorial on card model building, check out Chris Coyle’s tutorial on The Nautical Research Guild’s Model Ship World. In this tutorial, Chris uses a small, downloadable model of a German WWII V108 Torpedo Boat produced by Digital Navy.

The company produces several card models, that you can download for around $35 to $40. However, they have given Model Ship World permission to host the downloadable files for their tutorial and you can get these for free. You will, of course, need a color printer and some good quality card stock paper to print on.

https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2701-intro-and-table-of-contents/

 

Completed waterline version of the V108 card model built by Chris Coyle and featured in his tutorial

Since I’ve been working on a couple paper models, I thought it would be a good idea to follow this tutorial and try my hand at building this relatively simple card model myself. The startup cost is hard to beat, and you really need only very basic tools for start modeling in paper.

This is probably a lot more common type of paper modeling than what I’ve been building from Shipyard kits, which is why I want to run though the tutorial.

If you want to give it a try too, I encourage you to register with Model Ship World (it’s free) and start a build log there.

I started mine, which you can visit at: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/16325-v-108-torpedo-boat-by-catopower-digital-navy-1200-scale-card-msw-tutorial-build/

 

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HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – 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.


At this point, I began to wonder how well this model was going to go together and test fit the fo’csle and quarter decks. I had to dig through the diagrams and all to figure out if this was all going to work okay in the end. So far, it seems like it should be okay, though there’s more gap around the bow that I would like. Not sure yet how to fix this, if it even needs fixing. But, it was nice to see how well the decks seated into place. There are a couple beams I will have to fashion and put into place before these decks can go on. And, of course, I’ll need to finish some internal details, plus the cannons.

In the lower photos, you can also see the galley stove under construction. Below, you can see where it will eventually go.

Of course, there’s a lot of work to do to the stove before it goes into place.

Finally, I added the remaining parts for the interior of the great cabin, aft. There’s some furniture to go in here. That’s one of those things which is pretty neat about these Shipyard ship model kits. Of course, if you want to be able to see any of this stuff, you’ll have to modify the original kit, which includes printed windows. Those would normally need to be carefully cut open, but the detail kit I bought from GPM includes some laser-cut parts for the gallery windows.

I’m starting to think about the outer layer that’s going to go on the model. The kit includes printed parts for two configurations of the ship, one for the original 1779 paint scheme and another for the 1795 (Black and Yellow) paint scheme. I was always planning to build this in the 1779 configuration, but I’m thinking about the later configuration, just because it’s different (for this kit, anyway).

HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – 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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HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Next Paper Model Project

Having completed Shipyard’s HMS Alert kit, it just didn’t feel right to not have a paper model to work on. There’s something about the simplicity of paper that is just too darned cool!

Of course, I have plenty of wooden ship model projects, but it’s nice to have a paper model going in the background. As with other background projects I’ve had in the past, there is no rush to get it done. There’s also nothing that says I have to ever get it done. But, having completed the Alert, I can see taking on another kit and carrying it to completion.

Now, I have Shipyard’s Super Modellar Plans (that’s Shipyard’s spelling, by the way, not mine) for the Santa Leocadia, a Spanish 38-gun frigate in 1/72 scale. The “Super” part of that title means that the plans include the laser-cut frames and some other items to give you a start on the model. However, beyond that, it’s really designed as a scratch build project. That’s something that, as a wooden ship modeler, I can probably do. But, I’m really not looking for something that requires a great deal of thought and planning time. I’d rather just go with a kit that I can just follow along and build.

There are the “Laser Cardboard Series” of ship model kits, which are boxed sets and include cast resin figurehead and scrollwork, turned brass cannons, wooden dowels for masts, pre-cut sail cloth, etc. Those kits are really nice and are in a larger 1/72 scale.

However, I already have a paper model kit on hand that I bought more than a year ago. It is Shipyard’s 1/96 scale HMS Mercury kit.

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Like most of the other paper model kits, this one comes with color printed parts that have to be cut out. Also, like most of these kits, the internal framework comes already laser cut, so getting started is very easy (note that HMS Victory and HMS Endeavour are notable exceptions and you have to build-up the framework parts and cut them out before you can assemble them).

The most daunting thing about this kit is the rigging. HMS Alert had only one mast with two yardarms. HMS Mercury is considerably more complex. I considered this, but also have been an admirer of British admiralty models, which show the ships at launch. Such a ship is now fitted out and has no masts and hence no rigging. Instead, poles were erected with large decorative admiralty flags. So, looking at this kit, I thought, what better kit to use for an admiralty style model.

Of course, there’s a long way to go before I come to that fork in the road. By that time, I may just be itching to build the masts and add rigging and sails!

Lots of parts...

Lots of parts!

And even more parts...

Another view of the parts.

In any case, we’re looking here at a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth-rate frigate. At 1/96 scale, the model, rigged, is about 26 inches long. That’s a pretty small model, really. I know a lot of ship modelers won’t build at that small scale. That’s one of the reasons I’m considering the admiralty-style model.

For those who want an easier model, but like the subject, Shipyard makes a boxed edition of this same model, but it comes with all the parts laser cut, and it’s in a more comfortable 1/72 scale. But, since I’m just a paper model beginner, and it’s a lot more expensive, I figured I’d work on the 1/96 scale paper model kit. It means a lot of cutting of small parts, but there’s no rush.

Here are the first stages of my build, assembling the pre-cut framework…

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That was the easiest part of the kit and took a very short time to get this far. If you’re trying this CUT the parts out, don’t ever try to punch them out or you’ll tear or tweak something out of shape.

The whole thing “dry fits” together very easily. Once everything looks straight and twist-free, then it can be glued together. I used fast drying CA instant glue. You only have to touch it to the parts and it wicks right into the joints. With thicker glue, you risk bumping a piece out of place. So, I save the thicker stuff for other assemblies.

I’ll use Aileen’s Tacky Glue, DAP Weldwood contact cement, Elmer’s white glue, or slow cure CA depending on the application.

After the framework is assembled, the partial inner deck is put in place and the hull “skin” is added. This is the first of the layers that will cover the hull. With more layers, the hull takes on a more naturally smooth shape. Afterwards, the pre-printed deck pieces are cut out and, one of the features that separates the Shipyard kits from most wooden ship model kits, the great cabin  detail begins with the checkerboard pattern floor covering.

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Later, the partitions and knees are built up and put in place to provide interior detail and support for the bulwarks.

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Finally, here’s a glimpse of the instructions that show you what goes where. Note the numbers that indicate how thick each piece must be built up to. It’s all a kind of code with almost no written out text. Mostly, build in general order of the part numbers and put the parts where you see them in the instruction sheets.

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I hope others reading this will find inspiration rather than intimidation. This is actually a very easy building process, it just takes time. So… “Just keep swimming…”, “put one foot in front of the other…”, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step!”

 

Shipyard’s 1:96-scale HMS Alert 1777, Paper Model Kit – Part VII

I haven’t posted an update on this project for a several months, so figured it was time.

I now have someone who wants the completed model, so that pushed this project up in priority.  Initially, it was more of a test to see what building in paper was like. But, it was so much fun that I kept going with it. Now, it’s close enough to completion to really push to finish it.

I finished building the carriage guns, blackening them and adding breech ropes. For the ropes, I ended up using Morope brand model rope. The main reason for using Morope was simply to test out the product. This model rope certainly looks good, but it does want to unravel quite easily. I found it best to put a drop of CA glue at the point where I want to cut the line. After the CA dries, I cut the line and there’s no unravelling.

The other model rope I was considering was the stuff sold by Syren Ship Model Company. Initially, I avoided this rigging line because for most purposes, the lay of the rope is backwards. It’s all left-hand or S-laid rope. I’ve since changed my mind about the Syren model rope because it’s so nice to work with. It’s stiff, but flexible, doesn’t unravel, and looks great. However, since I already started using Morope, I figured I’d continue with it.

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Not so clear photo of the finished cannon on carriage with Morope breeching rope.

For the cannons, I ended up using turned brass barrels sold by Syren Ship Model Company as swivel guns. One of the sizes worked out perfectly for this models small carriage guns. Making the carriages was the hard part. But, there’s only a dozen to get through.

I then had to add eyebolts at the ends of the breech ropes and drill the bulwarks to mount them. The deck is open and so drilling and adding the eyebolts into place wasn’t too bad. But, the model is more delicate than a wooden one, so it required extra care.

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HMS Alert in my shipyard with Colonial Schooner in background. All cannons are in place and rigged with breech ropes.

As you can see, the taffrail is pretty well complete. That’s one feature that really made me sweat. Getting those stanchions all in place and then adding the rail and trying to make it run as flat as possible… I’d put off building the rail for a while until I could muster enough nerve to deal with it. Since then, it’s been mostly smooth sailing.

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I worked on the sails some time ago. They’re are cloth and purchased as a separate accessory set available from Shipyard. They are pre-printed, but only on one side. Getting the lines of the cloth to show through required lightly tracing them onto the blank side in pencil.

Bolt ropes were glued around the edges using simple white glue. I also added all the small ropes to the two reefing bands on the mainsail.

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I’d purchased the masting set from Shipyard too. This just consists of some dowels and a few laser cut cardboard pieces for the cross trees, mast cap, etc.

For blocks, I decided to use some swiss pear blocks I bought from Syren Ship Model Company. They stopped making them rather abruptly and did a big sell-off before I’d had a chance to stock up on more of the sizes I needed. But, this model doesn’t use too many, so I figured I’d go ahead and use them. Anyway, they’re really nice looking blocks. I made up a batch of paper blocks, but I figured I’d use the swiss pear ones while I had them.

Finally, I began the process of rigging by adding the lower deadeyes into place, and rigging the shrouds. As you can see the main boom is also in place. I had to finish up all the details on it first, then decided I’d better add it before too much other rigging gets in the way.

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I have to now add all the blocks I’ll need on the mast, gaff and yards and sails. Then, I’m going to have to tie the backstays around the mast head so I can finish up adding the main and preventer stays which will lead down to the top of the stem. Really starting to feel like I’m getting into the home stretch on this model.

One interesting thing I’ve discovered is that the deadeyes are really pretty securely attached on this paper model. That was one thing I had concerns about. But, I wire stropped them and then simply bent the bottom of the wire to insert into holes I drilled into the hull, forming the chainplate. A faux chainplate is then glued to the face of the wire.

An Inside Look at Shipyard’s HMS Wolf Laser Cardboard Kit

Recently, Ages of Sail, the importer I’ve been doing some work for this past year, has gotten in a new shipment of card or paper model kits from Shipyard of Poland. The most recent significant addition is the boxed Laser Cardboard Series kit HMS Wolf, 1752, and I managed to take a look at the product and get some photos so you can get a better look at what’s included in this kit.

First off, HMS Wolf was a snow-rigged brig of war, meaning she carried two square-rigged masts, with an auxiliary mast attached to the back of the mainmast that carries the boom and gaff of the spanker sail. The ship was armed with 10 guns.

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The Shipyard kit is produced in 1/72 scale and measures about 20.5″ long overall. As with all Laser Cardboard Series kits, the boxed kit has all card stock parts laser cut. Colorful hull decorations are nicely printed on high quality paper, but the bulk of the parts are on plain white card stock, so the model must be painted. For that, the manufacturer includes several jars of nice quality acrylic paint and a pair of brushes.

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Parts are neatly stored, while all the instructions, drawings and laser-cut sheets are kept safely underneath.

 

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Blocks are also the same laser-cut blocks that Shipyard sells separately. These are paper and have to be assembled and painted. The low-level relief carvings are laser etched card stock, and look pretty nice. And, of course, the heart of the kit are the several sheets of laser-cut parts. Having been working on a paper model kit where all the parts have to be cut by hand, the sight of these precisely cut and detailed parts just makes me drool.

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But, not all paper modeling is necessarily done in paper. For one thing, wooden dowels are included for making the masts and spars, and a set of cloth sails are included as well, though as with individually available sail set for the their Paper Model series kits, these sails are pre-printed and laser cut, so no cutting or sewing is required. Another big time saver of these boxed edition kits are the pre-made brass cannon and swivel gun barrels, which are not only pre-made, saving time and effort, but they’re beautifully turned from brass.

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One of the big features of the Laser Cardboard Series kits is that low-relief carvings are made from laser-etched card stock, the figurehead and some of the larger carvings are fully 3D rendered in cast resin. Other parts included in the kit are rigging line, wire for making eyebolts and chainplates and such, clear acrylic for the gallery windows, and colorfully printed cloth flags.

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But, maybe the biggest thing that differentiates the boxed kit from its smaller Paper Model Series cousin (HMS Wolf is available as a 1/96-scale pre-printed card model kit where you have to cut all the parts out yourself) is the full-color, 32-page, photo-filled instruction book. This is in addition to the 7 double-sided sheets of drawings.

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The new HMS Wolf kit joins the ranks of Shipyard’s boxed kits, which includes the cutter HMS Alert, Schooner Berbice, French lugger Le Coureur, the Santa Maria, the Dutch built Swedish pinnace Papegojan, and the frigate HMS Mercury. Though about less 40% smaller than the HMS Mercury, HMS Wolf is the second largest of the Shipyard kits. It’s less complicated rig and much lower price point than HMS Mercury should make it a popular kit. Having dabbled in card modeling myself, I can say that this kit is on my definite build list. Ω

Shipyard’s 1:96-scale HMS Alert 1777, Paper Model Kit – Part VI

With other projects requiring completion, I haven’t had much time to work on this model. But, I did finish some of the deck furniture and I also managed to get the gun carriages together.

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I’ve played around with rolling the cannon barrels from the paper patterns included in the kit, but having been ship modeling for so long, I’m having a hard time bringing myself to using them since I don’t think my barrels are looking very good. Certainly, there are experienced paper modelers that can do an amazing job on them. I’m not one of them.

So, I’ve been exploring alternatives. I could try turning my own, but I managed to find some cannon barrels that look good and seem to be a pretty good scale fit. The barrels are actually 1/4″ scale swivel gun barrels sold by Syren Ship Model Company. I had some on hand for another project and set one onto one of my gun carriages and it makes for a pretty good fit! The barrels aren’t cheap at $11.50 for a pack of 4 and I need a total of 12, so that’s close to $40 after shipping. Still, they look very nice, they’re the right scale, and I won’t have to then make them!

Now for the Alert’s swivel guns, there is nothing I could find that’s commercially available and small enough for the job. So, I may just ignore the swivels on this model. Otherwise, I could try to turn some, but they’ll be so small, I’ll probably end up ignoring a lot of the finer details. Anyway, the barrels will end up blackened and they’re small enough that details won’t be that noticeable.

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A Syren Ship Model Company 1/48-scale swivel gun barrel filling in for my 1/96-scale 6pdr gun – A good fit on the carriages I made.

Now, since I was working on some kit details anyway, I started looking at the sails, masting and rigging. I purchased the set of sails sold by Shipyard. They are nicely laser cut and printed on one side, but only on one side.

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Now, if I were going to sew them, the lines would be perfect guides. But, since I’m not planning on sewing, there’s a problem of having no detail on the back side of the sails. There are two ways to fix this as I look at them. The first is to trace the lines onto the opposite side of the sail, so the backs aren’t so empty looking. The second is to make new sails, probably from paper or silkspan. But, at this point, since I already have the sails, I’ll try tracing the lines onto the back and see how that turns out.

The last item on my list are the blocks. I made the boom, gaff, masts, bowsprit, and I’m close to the point where I’m going to have to start rigging blocks onto them. I worked out the sizes I basically need and they’re 2mm through 3.5mm. Actually, the block patterns included in the kit are 2.5mm, 3mm and 3.5mm, and I purchased the Alert’s blocks set from Shipyard too.

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This is what you get in a 3mm single sheave block package from Shipyard. These are enough parts for 40 blocks.

The question on whether to use these or wooden ones all comes down to how nicely I can make them look. Syren Ship Model Company sells some beautiful pear wood blocks available in 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm and 4mm sizes. Problem I have with them is that they don’t have 3.5mm blocks, and I find the visual jump from 3mm to 4mm too significant on a small scale model.

i actually had a problem rigging the cannons on my colonial schooner model because I was using Syren’s pear wood blocks and the 3mm size was too small for the guns and 4mm was way too big. What I did there was to use another company’s 3.5mm blocks in that one place. But, for this model, I’m going to see if I can make the paper blocks work.

I spent some time last weekend making the needed blocks, gluing them, trimming them apart, painting them, etc. Though they’re designed with the proper sheave holes, I’m going to drill them out to make it easy to rig them. That will be the test as to whether they’re sturdy enough for me to work with.

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Separating the assembled and painted blocks.

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The final blocks ready to drill out and test.

I now have enough of all sizes for the model. I really should have 2mm blocks as well, but that’s awfully small to make, I’d have to order more from Poland, and the smallest that the kit instructions call for is 2.5mm. So, I suppose I can live with that. Anyway, I’ll see how well the drilling out of the blocks goes and we’ll find out if I end up using these or switching to wooden ones.