Week 59 This week we get the brass bulkheads for the aft gunnery control station
The bits we received
And what we did with them
I started with the control tower hand rails first. I tried using the special former that came with this issue, without much success. I then tried a rolling method. I took a sheet of spongy rubber (the back of a mouse mat actually) and the shank of a 6mm drill. I placed the handrails on the mat, and rolled the shank of the drill over it. Keep the drill parallel to the stanchions (hand rail uprights) at all times and it will form a cone of more or less the right shape. I found a 6mm drill gave the right amount of curl, but it depends on how hard the rubber mat is, how hard you press, etc. If you try it you might need a different size drill bit. The smaller the drill bit, the tighter the bend. The photo shows the first handrail bent to shape. It's standing on the mat, and you can see the drill in the background.
Here is is glued in place. You can see there is a slight gap at the base. I just squeezed the stanchions together to hide the visible gap. I don't think that the tiny gap at the base will be noticeable. The 'cone' of the handrails was slightly off centre when glued in place, up a gentle thumb pressure soon evened it up.
Here is the second tower completed. I only noticed in the photo that it is slightly lop-sided, and has since been squared up, by the deft application of a gentle thumb.
I used the same trick to bend the main bulkhead of the gunnery control centre. I used an 8mm drill this time as the radius is bigger. I did the forward radius first, then bent the slight kink by hand holding the brass round the wooden structure, then rolled the sides.
I glued the bulkhead in place with Araldite. The brass was a pretty good fit, but not perfect by any means, so I clamped it with a couple of clothes pegs. When lining the brass bulkhead against the wooden structure, I lined the top up carefully. The reason being, the door gutters are very close to the top. If you have to sand the brass to fix any misalignment, sand the top and it will be very obvious. Sand the bottom and you won't notice it as much.
The first part (above) was a little too long (good thing - better than being too short) so I filed the ends until they were flush with the wood. Then the rear part was glued in place. This was also fractionally too long, so again the ends were filed flush.
Next the top was glued on. I used pegs to hold it while the glue set, and then files the edges flush.
Next the ladders and hatch were glued in place.
Finally the front door was hung. I tried to put a gentle curve in the to follow the curve of the bulkhead, but it didn't want to bend very much. I think it took a very slight curve, and it looks OK. Thinking about it, the door would probably been flat anyway.
Things not yet done
Fitting the fore deck
Stern deck part 63 not fitted.
Fitting resin stern part 70
Fitting resin propshaft part D : Done
Fit the bilge keels
Fit sea chest grills
Fit the resin bow piece
Add hanger side doors
Fill the nail heads on barbette Caesar
Fit hanger door
Hot tip of the week
Slow setting Araldite (Araldite Precision) takes 24 hours to cure. I have found it's the best glue to use for brass to wood joints if the joint is going to be under any strain. Curved parts are likely to be slightly stressed unless you get the bend spot on (which is beyond me !!)
Check the part after it has set for a few hours (overnight seems about right) and you'll find the glue has gone off, but is still slightly rubbery, not yet rock hard. Any excess glue can be trimmed off with a sharp knife as it is still softish. However, the bond is strong enough to stand handling.
How many hours does it take to build the model ??
This week :
Running total :