Thursday, 24 December 2015


I'd like to take the opportunity to wish my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This post will be another mash up of miscellanea, tying up loose ends and such.

First off...........

Girls, Girls, Girls!

These are the Pinup and Desert Battle offerings from Masterbox.
I have not made these up yet, but a quick look at the contents show they will be very compatible with 1/32 scale figures.   The Pinups will be part of my Pulp collection whilst the Skull Clan girls will form part my Sy Fy/Fantasy collection.   More female figures are on the way but I will leave them for a future post.

Speaking of Sy Fy, next up is a couple of bags of Starcraft 2 Terran Marines.   These are available from Blizzard, the producer of the Starcraft video game and were very good value for the money.
   I obviously have to paint them and I am currently researching colour schemes markings etc.   Just the three poses, so some conversion work may be needed.  54mm in size.

Of course Space Marines need something to grind into the dirt so Blizzard also offer Zerglings.

Again, just the three poses, but I can live with that.
The masters were apparently modelled in a 3D environment and then tweaked physically once printed out to produce the finished miniatures.   Very intricate detail for a injection moulded model.

Readers may remember I made a reference in a earlier post regarding a secret project for a friend of mine in Scotland.    Les casually mentioned to me, he was wanting to wargame the conflict in Shanghai during the 1920's.
Of course, the iconic 1920 Pattern Rolls Royces were an integral part of the British Forces during the period so I made him one using spare parts leftover from my Rolls Royce 1920 Pattern build.

The Shanghai Rolls Royces were fitted with what was known as a Top Hat Turret.  This turret gave more protection to the vehicle commander when opened.  I also made the turret hatch open so as he could fit a crew figure if required.

A couple of miscellaneous items I sourced from a $2.00 shop.   These were cake separators, 4 to a bag and very cheap.   Once a bit of weathering is applied they should come up very nicely.   Of course, that means I will have to scratchbuild some sort of pediment to go on top sometime in the future.

The little dinosaur is a Allosaurus from the Schleich miniature dinosaur range.   Just right for Pulp Fiction gaming!

I finally obtained the last of the New Ray WW1 aircraft collection.   This one is the French Spad.   This will join my other WW1 aircraft.

Lastly, a little while ago I built a number of Universal Carriers.

In addition to the Standard English model I also made two examples of the Australian built version, the LP2.
This differed mainly in the construction of the bow/front and stowage on the rear deck.
I realised that I never produced any photos.

The two models are armed with a Vickers MG and a Boys anti tank rifle.
Decals are from Archer.

So, until next year, have a good Holiday Season and I hope Santa gets you what you wanted!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

HMQS Gayundah - Pt 8

Progress has been a little slow of late, the work itself is time consuming but very enjoyable nonetheless.
Below is my method of preparing the deadeyes so that they can be attached to the chain plates and the shrouds.
A simple jig was prepared to facilitate the attachment of the brass jump ring with ordinary black cotton thread.   This was just a series of overhand knots tied until I felt it was going to be strong enough.   The round deadeyes are Artesania Latina 8506 and the triangular style, no idea.   I have had them for years!

Once all the deadeyes had been rigged a start was made on the actual shrouds and ratlines.
Again a simple jig, or Rigging Board (not my idea, I stole it!) was made up using scrap MDF and household pins.   In the photo below you can also see the various threads used in the construction of the rigging.
Plain white cotton thread, DMC #8 Perle cotton, plain black cotton thread and what appears to be about .5 to .8 mm pure cotton thread.   This was sourced from the Jewellery makings section of a $2.00 shop.   It has a plasticized feel to it and was used to make the Backstays and other parts of the rigging.
   Lastly the actual thread I used for the Shrouds (the verticals of the Ratlines) was described as leather cord, 1mm.   I don think it's leather, more like a plasticized cotton.   Its braided and made it easier to sew the actual ratlines through it.   The ratlines were made from the DMC Perle.

Sheer Poles were made up from plastic strip with suitably sized holes drilled to take the Shrouds and Backstay.

 Almost completed Fwd Shrouds and Ratlines.   I still have to tidy up the Lanyards (which tie the two deadeyes together). 

Again, almost completed Shrouds and Ratlines.

The Guardrail stanchions have all now been fitted and the FX is almost complete.
I am awaiting an order of brass wire so that I can finish the Guardrails.
Navel pipes were let into the Fwd bulkhead, these were just rubber grommets superglued over a hole and painted black.   The two lengths of cable were then secured inboard and the Boat Deck was then attached.

The after Guardrails attached and wired up.

Finally, an overall view of Gayundah as she is presently.
Yards and Rigging still to be fitted.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

HMQS Gayundah - Part 7

Reaching out and touching someone...1880's style.

The Elswick Ordinance 8" Breech Loader Mk VII.

This gun was the main armament for both Gayundah and Paluma.

Construction of the piece started with plans, which are readily available from the Australian National Archives.   Indeed, the  Book of Reference "Instructions for the 8"Rifled Breech Loading Armstrong Gun and  Naval Carriage and Slide" are also reproduced.

A half template was made up from card and used to check the proportions and contours.
A piece of old mop handle was used and in hindsight, I should have used a better quality wood.  It turned fairly well but it needed a bit of filling and sanding  afterwards.
Trunnions were added and the bore opened out.

The carriage was next up and this was constructed from plastic sheet for the cheeks, slices of knitting needle for the carriage wheels and plastic rod for the rivets.   The elevation handwheel was from a cheap toy Jeep.

The Slide was constructed from Evergreen styrene strip and shapes.
The chequer plate panels either side of the compression plates were made up from plastic banding strap (used to hold large boxes, items, etc together).

The Barrel has been undercoated and the slide completed.   Traversing gear was made up from brass wire and strip, a cut down brass bolt for the pinion gear and plastic tube and brass wire made up the Running In handwheels.   Slices of appropriately sized knitting needle were used for the slide rollers.

The piece completed.
However, this is not the gun I will be using in Gayundah.   I took a mold of the Barrel and cast it in resin.   I wasn't going to hide all that work between decks!

In the foreground is the gun destined for the ship.   An extempore mount was put together so that it sits at the right height and was then inserted and attached.

Please forgive the messy FX!   That part of ship still needs to be squared away.
The anchors are hanging from their Davits (which still have to be painted) and the Cable will be led through Naval Pipes (Spurling Pipes for our American cousins) which will be let into the For'rard bulkhead.

Ship's Boats

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Gayundah carried two Whalers, a Lifeboat and a Dory.
I found an excellent card model of a Whaler on the Fiddler's Green site by Richard Dery

This was reduced by 85% to 1/32nd scale, printed out onto 200gsm card and two Whalers were promptly made up.

The port side Whaler hanging on her davits.

The lifeboat was made up from the Whaler kit but I removed a section from the middle and raised her freeboard slightly.   It is not quite what I wanted but it is close.

I still have to source a suitable Dory.   A company in Cornwall, England makes hulls of different types of boats so I might give them a try.

Of course. the boats need something to hang from so I made up the Boat's Falls from little buttons I picked up from a local Craft Store and some plastic strip.

The tackle I was making up is known as a Two Fold Purchase and you can see the method I used to reproduce them in the photo above.   Small eye hooks were let into the middle part of the block and superglued.   The plastic strip was trimmed off after the block was made up.

The Blocks were then reeved with Embroidery Floss (Sullivans Light Tan).   I had to get out my old Seamanship Manual to get the falls reeved correctly.   It has been a few years since I did one!
A 6mm hook was used on the Boat's Falls which engages with an eye hook on the bow and stern of the boat.   Lobster clasps were used on the Anchor Davits for the anchors.

Finally, a picture of the Conning Tower/Wheelhouse.

The Compass Binnacle was scratchbuilt using plastic tube, strip, a wooden ball, 2 plastic beads and a brass Jump ring.   The staunchions are from a Victorian company who I can highly recommend,

I purchased a number of detail items from them and the service was friendly and fast.
I hope to do the rest of the staunchions around the perimeter of the upper decks by the next post.   They should be painted white but I can't bring myself to paint them as they look too tiddly as they are!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

HMQS Gayundah Part 6

Granny Grating, Boat's Booms and some Paint.

 Not the most complimentary of terms to denote this product, it is better known as plastic canvas.   It is a plastic mesh used for embroidery projects and comes in a number of counts (i.e squares per inch) and colours and stiffness.
To make up the ship's gratings, I used a 10 count white mesh from a company called Darice.
It cuts really easily and once primed with a plastic specific primer such as Dymark or Rustoleum make, takes paint very well.

Above you can see the method I used to make up the gratings for the conning tower/wheelhouse and for two Wash Deck Lockers for the upperdeck.
A frame of the same thickness as the mesh, in this case .40 x .156 thou strip, was prepared to the required dimensions and then a subframe of 10 thou and 1 mm wider than the main frame was glued to the bottom.   The plastic canvas was then dropped into the frame being attached with some superglue.   It pays to work out the dimensions of the mesh and frame in conjunction so that you do not have a row of  half squares or such on the finished product.

The completed conning tower/wheelhouse deck gratings and the two wash deck lockers.

Boat's Booms.

Were made up from 6mm dowel.   The Gooseneck fitting was made up from styrene shapes and rod as were the Boom Crutch, End Caps and Spider Band.   The Gooseneck and Boom Crutch actually work.

A Coat of Paint (hides a multitude of tins)

I undercoated the ship with Dulux Quick Dry Metal Primer and once that had dried overnight, she was painted with British Paints Flat White all over.   Tamiya Full Red was used for the boot topping trim and all of this was left for a week to harden.   She was then masked off with what seemed like a mile of masking tape (the blue stuff) and then the Flat Black and the Deck Tan was applied.   Any overspray was taken care off and a day or so later she was given a coat of Satin Varnish.

A view of Gayundah's stern.   The ladders leading up to the Boat Deck were made up from Cafe Bar coffee stirrers.   These seem to be a better quality than your stock craft sticks i.e. they are very uniform and have a rounded edge.   They do have a waxy coating but this is easily sanded off.   The treads were cut on the NWSL Chopper to ensure uniformity.   Steel wire was used for the hand rails.

The Boat Deck.

Still to be added are the Funnel Vents and of course, the Guardrail Staunchions.
Other details will be the Compass Binnacle, Ship's Wheel, Voice Pipes etc.

The Foc'sle.

Anchors, Cables and Slips still to be added.

In the next post I hope to deal with two things a Gunboat needs......A Gun and some boats.

Friday, 16 October 2015

HMQS Gayundah Part 5

The Foc'sle

Construction was started on the turtleback foc'sle.   I had originally wanted to do this in one piece but gave up and did it in two.   A cardboard template was made to facilitate the complicated curves that make up the rear end of the foc'sle.   i.e. it curves from side to side as well as having a curve in plan view to fit the embrasure.
Formers from scrap plastic were cut and glued into position and the foc'sle in two halves were glued into place.   The photo below shows the starboard side in position.

Once both sides of the foc'sle had been attached they were left to dry and then puttied and sanded to a smooth finish.   The photo below shows the completed foc'sle and two Hotchkiss 3 Pdrs in roughly the position they will occupy on the boat deck.

Davits Janet!

The Gayundah carried two whalers, a lifeboat and a dory.   She also had two davits for her anchors.   This adds up to a total of 10 radial davits to be made up.   For these I used knitting needles.   They were tapered using a file and then cleaned up with emery paper.   I then hammered them into shape (literally) using a hammer and a bench vice.   To be truthful I was dreading doing these, metalwork is not a strong point, but they turned out all right.   I was careful to get them in a uniform shape and a template copied from the internet was a great help.   A flat was hammered into the end to suspend the boat falls from.   These will be made up in conjunction with the ship's boats.

The davits themselves were located in brackets, two per davit, on the ship's side.   These were made from from .60 thou sheet, drilled to to take the size of the davit.   You can see the sequence used to make them up in the photo above, starting from the top and working down.   Once completed, the upper bracket was pinned and superglued to the ships side and two small pieces of quarter round strip were added to each side to strengthen them.

Starboard side Davits fitted.   These have to be cut to their finished length, but I want to complete the ship's boats first.

Ship's funnel completed with ventilation gratings either side.   Galley Skylight just fwd.

Aft Bollards.   These were made up from a short length of plastic knitting needle, capped with a piece of 40 thou sheet and turned to shape in the hobby lathe.    They were then attached to a piece of 40 thou sheet for the baseplate.

Foc'sle Bollards and Bow doors.   These were made up in the same manner as the aft bollards.

Looking fwd.   Wardroom skylight, companionway and engine skylight and companionway.

Uncompleted capstan, hatch to below decks and unfinished conning tower/wheelhouse.
The boat deck has also been painted in Tamiya Deck Tan.
The capstan was turned up from a wooden cotton reel, the whelps are little strips of 20 thou.
The ladder to the conning tower was cut from an old cutlery basket from a long gone dishwasher.