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"Scratching a 1/1200 Frigate (Age of Sail)" Topic

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Pete W06 May 2019 2:10 p.m. PST

Early days on this, but its starting to look like a ship.

To be HMS Enterprise (1774) and compared against the Langton 28 gun frigate in the last image

Yellow Admiral06 May 2019 2:41 p.m. PST

That's terrible! You should be ashamed! I think you should put that in a box and ship it to me, and I will make sure nobody ever knows you had anything to do with it. Then make another dozen just like it and send those too. grin

Seriously, nice effort! I love projects like this. Scratch-building is one of my favorite parts of our hobby, and I always learn a lot from others' creative solutions. Please keep posting more photos of the build process. I look forward to the end result.

I got about this far with a few 1/1200 scratchbuilds about 25 years ago, and then got stuck on gratings and stern galleries. I look forward to seeing how you proceed.

- Ix

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2019 3:44 p.m. PST

That is great work!

BillyNM07 May 2019 11:48 a.m. PST

Lovely project, please keep posting updates to completion. I can't wait to see how you smooth the sides off.

Pete W07 May 2019 11:49 a.m. PST

Cheers Gents.

Ix -I'll be sure to show how this progresses. Stern gallerys are on my mind for the moment, but I see myself going with something very similar to Langton (and I assume GHQ).

Not much new here other than the bulked out hull so that this one better matches the Langton range.


whitejamest07 May 2019 12:41 p.m. PST

Beautiful, very crisp work!

Yellow Admiral07 May 2019 5:10 p.m. PST

FWIW, you can order individual sprues from GHQ, so you should be able to get stern galleries from any of their ships. Langton has also sold me separate parts in the past, though reluctantly, but it could still be worth asking.

Of course, neither of those ideas is so utterly awesome as doing it yourself. I'm kinda hoping you show me a DIY method that looks good. grin

- Ix

Pete W08 May 2019 5:39 a.m. PST

Progress on the stern

After a couple of attempts I created an acceptable shape as the basis for the stern. Detail has been added with strip plastic and copperwire. To enable this model to happily sit beside my Langton models I'm now over sizing everything, and for my next attempt I'll enlarge the plans somewhat to match Langton. (I've a 74 on order and plan to compare its dimensions against the known details so I can determine Langtons actual scale)

The inset top left shows the finished piece. I had hoped for more windows, but the cross pieces were too fiddly to glue side on, but the effect is good enough for me.

I'll let this dry then attach to the hull so I can then work out how to create the side windows.


Pete W08 May 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

and a little work on the stern galleries. The upper one was my first attempt, the lower the version I will go with, so I need to make a mirror.

Photo also shows a cannon, albeit one that is too large for this ship (plastic rod on I-beam) and the brass tools that I'm finding very helpful with working this small.

It has taken long to realise the secret here is to keep the shapes simple and use the pre-formed plastic card shapes where ever possible.

For larger sterns I will have a go at using the heat method to curve the "u" channel as the basis for the stern windows.


Yellow Admiral08 May 2019 12:36 p.m. PST

Excellent progress! I like the stern galleries.

You might be able to fill in the oversized windows with small window panes using paint. That would add apparent detail for the human eye without having to physically model it.

- Ix

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2019 5:07 p.m. PST

How much time have you put into it? You can probably make casts using this as a master. Seems like a lot of work if you want a fleet.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2019 9:10 a.m. PST

that is looking good. Nicely done.
I've never had the courage to scratch build anything, let alone a ship.

Pete W09 May 2019 10:56 a.m. PST

and more progress. The hull is pretty much complete other than the detail at the bow, gunports, channels and the skid beams. Experimenting with mast materials at the mo'

Plastic is the easier to workwith, but I suspect is not rigid enough to copy with the rigging when added. we'll see !

I'm thinking of offering a painting service for the Langton kits any interest out there ??

DanTM this is something I visit little but often so the time sink is pretty minimal, and it helps with the mental puzzle of "how to do the next bit".

Interestingly it is helping with my understanding of these ships and how they were built, and there is a great deal of logic as to how to scratch build one in consequence. My respect for Rod and Carol Langton has also increased greatly !!!


whitejamest09 May 2019 11:50 a.m. PST

This is coming along really impressively, very cool to watch.

Pete W11 May 2019 9:01 a.m. PST

Progress has slowed as I puzzle over masts.

I'm not happy with either option here, and so am likely to discard.

Plastic rod is far easier to work, but steel rod has the necessary strength. I probably need to get hold of a range of small diameter brass rod/wire.

I'm also distracted by a fresh order that has arrived from Langton Miniatures and oh boy is the 74 model nice !!!

Yellow Admiral11 May 2019 11:53 p.m. PST

You can get styrene rod with a wire center: auction

If you can find it in the right diameters, it might be the best of both worlds – stiff like wire, easy to shape and glue like plastic.

- Ix

Pete W13 May 2019 11:26 a.m. PST

I was not happy with the shape of my first attempt, mainly due to the stern galleries being over sized for the size of ship, and that I added a shim shaped to the orlop, whereas it looks better when shaped to the gun deck, and so have made a second version

This took hardly any time compared to the first given I knew the way to go, and galleries are now a much better size.

(new version at the front, with a newly arrived Langton 24 gun frigate at the rear for comparison.)

Sorry the photo is not very good, but the plastic card reflects so much light that the shadows to give depth are lost.


Yellow Admiral13 May 2019 2:30 p.m. PST

YOU MADE DECK PLANKING!!!! Yessssss! How did you do that?

Can we see some shots of the stern galleries, old and new? It's hard to see the differences you're talking about from the angle shown.

FWIW, I agree, the waterline shape is vastly improved on the new one.

The frames around the gratings look nice, on both versions.

Is the new one going to get catsheads? I think those are a really nice feature of the old one, one of the first things I noticed in your first photos.

What kind of glue are you using?

- Ix

Pete W15 May 2019 10:07 a.m. PST

Brass tubing and a soldering iron arrived earlier and I managed to create the necessary joints without much difficulty. Given this is a simple join, that I can tidy up with a file, I don't need to do much more than blob the solder on while keeping the mast elements straight to each other.

1mm steel rod, 0.9, 0.7 & 0.5mm brass tube. The telescoping ability of the brass tube allows the 0.5mm tube (being the Royal) to sit inside the 0.7mm tube (the topgallant)

lx – I'll sort some photos of the new stern later. The grating frames are two pieces of "U" channel joined together. The deck planking is just engraved lines on the pasticard. I should have engraved the lines before I cut the shape out, but now know for next time, and will be able to improve on this.

Catsheads and loads more detail to be added.

Other than the mast everything is made of pasticard and I'm just using Tamiya cement. Because it is all plastic the joins are strong and once dry the plastic can be cut or sanded as required.

It is not nearly as difficult as you might think


Stew art Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 10:24 a.m. PST

I have no huge insights to offer but thanks for sharing this project. it's fun to watch.

great job!

AdmiralHawke20 May 2019 2:27 p.m. PST

Really impressive stuff. I would never have the skill. Thank you for sharing.:-)
I'm not surprised you had trouble with the stern gallery. I think it must be extraordinarily difficult to get that right by scratch building in 1/1200.
Even among the metal manufacturers, the sterns of Red Eagle (ex-Skytrex) models are generally too large and not well detailed, while the Langton sterns are well detailed but also a little too large. Only GHQ seems to have them exactly right.

Blutarski21 May 2019 4:10 a.m. PST

I'm really anxious to see how you tackle making the blocks and dead-eyes!



Pete W21 May 2019 10:43 a.m. PST

Blutarski just for you work on the blocks and dead-eyes. I'm pleased with the results so far !

Blocks at the top, dead eyes at the bottom



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