This week the model has progressed very well. Using my electric finger file and a lot of sand paper, I sanded down the contours of the blocks of chemi-wood until it took on a hull shape. Continual use of the drawings and sighting by eye has produced a perfect hull form.
Traditionally I would now stick individual copper plates to the hull to represent the copper sheathing that protects the hull from rotting. Since I do not have the time to go down this path I have elected to have the hull vacuum formed (this is a process that heats a sheet of plastic card until soft and then a vacuum pulls the card over the master hull. Once cool, the shape of the master is retained in the plastic card).
The reason for creating a vacuum form is that the chemi-wood is hard to score into. Once trimmed to size I stuck the plastic hull shape over the master hull. Using a fine scoring tool I have created the layers of copper sheathing. This took a steady hand and a lot of lip biting as the lines on the contour have to be parallel when viewed from the side. Once done, I cut out the shape of the keel, stuck it on and filled in the gaps to create a smooth finish.
Next week I will be finishing the sheathing and move on to getting the hull upright onto it’s base and I will start working on the upper structure of the model.
From Mike Bass, the model maker.