Wear Ship Dave

Scratch Building HMS Leopard Part 7

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
Rewind and Take Two on the Nelson Chequer and Stepping the Main Mast

Another busy day, not much time for model work. But I managed to do a little here and there throughout the day (between spurts of real work).

I decided that I didn't like the hand painted gun ports. So, I painted back over them with the yellow paint.

I also added some white to the stern area of the ship where the windows will be applied. The reason for the white is that I am using clear decal paper and the white will show through as window panes.

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Once dry, I applied the window decals on the stern and sides of the ship. I also took a moment and sanded the upper corners of the stern of the ship to the shape of the windows decal. I'll retouch the black paint shortly.

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Next, I touched up around the windows with black and yellow paint. You can also see in this photo, that I have applied the new gun port decals that are more satisfying than the hand painted gun ports that I had done earlier. If I were to start this project over, I would have never cut the ports for the three guns on each side that are visible and simply used the decal. I will still have to hand paint the center upper ports like before.

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Here's the port side, with hand painted center gun ports in place again.

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I have to admit, I'm not terribly happy with how the windows look... I may (or may not) try a different approach for the windows. I'll give it a day or two, see if I am still non-plussed by them.

But let's move on. You may have noticed that the bowsprit was temporarily in place in the photos above. I used the same method to create it that I will show you for stepping the Main Mast.

I cut the appropriate lengths of two different diameters of brass rod, and a portion from one of the hat pins that I have been using for various things throughout the project. I carefully arranged them on a sheet of paper on my work bench and very very carefully added a single drop of CA glue to both of the joints. You don't want to use very much glue. It is best if it does not go through to the paper. I'm just tacking the parts together for now.

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Walk away from the table. Leave it for a good while. You want that glue to dry completely before you so much as look at the Mast again. I would give it at least an hour. Super glue sticks fast, but takes much longer to set up fully. If you're a R/C plane builder, you might have CA Accelerator on hand. If you choose to use it, do so carefully. Accelerator tends to make the glue bubble up in a way that may be pretty ugly for this scale.

Once it was dry, I stuck the Mast in a lump of modeling clay and added another drop of glue to each joint. ((Side note, modeling clay is extremely useful when modeling, I always have some on hand.))

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While the glue was still wet, I cut a short length of black thread and tied it around each joint.

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Then I went to dinner and let the glue dry. If I had been feeling adventuresome, I might have gone right into the next step, but I chose to let the glue set first.

Once back from dinner, I wrapped the thread ends around the mast joints. I used a pair of clamping tweezers to hold a little weight on the thread and gave the joints another drop of CA glue each. Once again, I left it alone for a bit. Then I used my small sharp scissors to trim off the excess thread.

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Here's the Main Mast, set in place temporarily.

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That's all the time I had today.

NEXT UP: More Masts and some Spars too!

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Updated 09-20-2013 at 20:48 by Wear Ship Dave



  1. 7eat51's Avatar
    That's all you had time for today? Incredible.

    Folks are using decals quite a bit on the 'Drome to do the entire plane. Do you think side and rear decals that cover the entire sides and rear would work?

    Personally, I think she is looking great.
  2. Wear Ship Dave's Avatar
    Decals on the planes over on the air side of things make a great deal of sense. Especially with the complex camouflages and schemes that were used.

    Full decals might be a bit dicey on something like this. Because the hull is shaped by hand (with sand paper) it isn't truly uniform like a Shapeways model. Anytime you decal complex curves, things can get tricky. Now, if you apply your decals in pieces, you might be able to pull it off.

    The windows are decals here, but at such a small scale as this, detail just vanishes when you make the decal. They look good on the computer screen when I am building them, but viewing 50 times the real size...

    I think the answer for the windows will be creating much less detailed decals and choosing a different color to simulate the panes of glass. Also, perhaps make some of the details much larger than the actual scale. The white jumps out too much, in my opinion.

    I've got 9 hours of shooting football (handegg) action photos tomorrow. Plenty of time to let my brain wander around some possibly better options.
  3. Volunteer's Avatar
    Hi Dave. You build your masts somewhat like I do. It is one task I enjoy, as opposed to making ratlines which I don't. I like the clay idea. I have been using small blocks of wood with holes drilled to hold the masts while I work on them.
    Did you check out the TMP?

  4. Wear Ship Dave's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Volunteer
    Did you check out the TMP?
    Only briefly. I've had a busy schedule for the past few days. Hope to dive into it in detail sometime in the next couple of days.
  5. Volunteer's Avatar
    Hi Dave. I'm on an actual computer now instead of my cell phone, so I can paste you a link to my mast building tutorial. I'm not suggesting you should use anything from it, just want to share back and forth. I'm learning a lot from you.

  6. Devsdoc's Avatar
    Love the work. I would drill out the windows and add dark blue and/or green in them (reflation of the water on the glass) and dry brush the rest of the stern, adding lines etc after if you wish. Vol is going to hate me! I would look at his blog on masts.
    Be safe and thank you
  7. Volunteer's Avatar
    Hello Dave. Haven't seen anything for six days. I'm going through bad modeler's withdrawal. Please give me a fix! More Leopard, more Leopard! (he chants while banging right shoe on desk!)
  8. Devsdoc's Avatar
    Please Dave,
    Add more to your ship. It will keep Vol quiet and happy. So he will not take it out on me. By the way, GET YOUR FINGER OUT AND WORK
    Be safe
  9. Wear Ship Dave's Avatar
    Thanks for the links and advice on the windows. I really don't like how they look right now, and set the project aside for a few days while I handle a brief press of real life work.

    I've got about five more days of working for a living, then I'll have some more time for hobby stuff until the next bought of real work needs to be done.
  10. Wear Ship Dave's Avatar
    I've been briefly distracted by an unrelated (winged) project...

    Stay Tuned! I think (hope) interesting things are coming for my HMS Leopard!