Week 7

A huge amount has happened to the model over week 7, with work being done on planking detail, and overall painting, and alterations made to the main deck as a result of conflicting sketches.

The model so far.

The model so far.

One of the problems associated with gathering information from many sources, is that sometimes this information differs, or contradicts itself. This week I had to change the ‘Hammock Rail’, running the length of the main deck.
Changes to the hammock rail.

The changed hammock rail.

This rail was originally used as added protection for riflemen whilst they shot at enemy ships, the hammocks of the sailors being stuffed into a cavity running along its length. I had been using some excellent drawings that indicated the rail still existed on the ship, but we later discovered some sketches of the ship from its time, showing that the rail had either been removed or simplified. Rail rebuild!
View of the Bow

View of the Bow

All the decks of the model are individually planked out of snowy Australian pine, a very fine grain wood used in making prototypes. Using a black felt tip pen, I coloured the edge of each plank. When all are laid together, this creates an impression of the corking that would have been present between each plank.

The challenge in painting the Beagle is achieving the required weathering effects. The copper sheathing on the hull of the ship would have, once immersed in salt water, turned a golden brown colour, with green oxidisation along the water line. To this end, I employed three main techniques.

Close-up of the Stern

Close-up of the Stern

Firstly, I used an airbrush to achieve gentle shading and texture throughout, painting the model a mid brown first, shading the hull in black, then using a copper colour as a light general coat. Using a mask cut from paper, I then used the airbrush to spray all copper sheets around the waterline with patches of green to represent oxidisation. Finally, with the hull masked, the airbrush was again used to paint all white and black sections.

A dry brush technique was then used to highlight the raised areas. This is done by removing most of the paint from the paint brush so that it is only lightly charged, and brushing it over the raised area many times.

Lastly, inks were used to highly the score lines and corners, emphasising detail.

Side view HMS Beagle

Side view HMS Beagle

Next week, I am starting the deck detail on the stern, working forward from there.

Contributed by model-maker Mike Bass.

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