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Eygthene 24 "Sombrero" build


John Fox III
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Greetings All,

 

Here's one I did a few years ago for a British guy, as a gift to his girlfriend, who owned the boat I modeled. Primitive plans I got online, most boat builders don't give out hull lines, plus plenty of photos of the boat at the dock and a few under sail.

 

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This one was a full hulled model, split as usual at the waterline horizontally, with the cabin roof section being separate. The upper hull was split down the middle, as designed it would just barely not make it through the light bulb opening, but this was also done to make carving the cockpit area much easier. Even if upper hull division is not necessary, I still use that building technique precisely because it makes that cockpit carving easier.

 

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Here is the carved hull, along with all the paper templates I used to carve and sand it into final shape. The keel and rudder were added later, to make hull carving that much easier. The keel was made from wood, the rudder from styrene plastic, and both were permanently pegged into the lower hull.

 

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This one shows the hull split into it's parts. The longer horizontal pegs were later cut off shorter, and the holes outside the pegs filled in with more bamboo.

 

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This one shows the full model, after carving and sealing the hull. The mast is a piece of aluminum tubing, that was very carefully squashed into an oval cross sectional shape. I do this by taking two piece of hardwood sanded to exactly the narrow width I want for the mast. I place the aluminum tubing between those pieces of wood, then place a flat, hard, usually metal plate over the tubing and wood pieces, then use 2 or 3 C-clamps to slowly squeeze down along the length of the mast. I move back and forth between the clamps, tightening them just a bit each time. So far in 3 or 4 different models, this has worked very nicely for me to make the masts.

 

The mast itself is permanently mounted onto the cabin roof section by using a .2" thick piece of brass that is shaped at one end to fit into the mast itself, and at the other end glued into the cabin roof section. There are 3 tiny holes drilled port to starboard just beneath the bottom of the aluminum mast, these are for the fake rigging used on the cabin roof. They represent the holes/pulleys at the base of the real mast, where a lot of the rigging was run from inside the mast to outside. The mast cap is made from aluminum as well, actually the pour spout from a cardboard container of salt, but I've also used pieces of thin aluminum flashing. It is pinned through the cap and mast top, to hold it in place. For the moment it is temporarily pinned in place.

 

Lastly, I used clear acrylic plastic, 1/4" thick, to make a base for the model, the odd shape on the bottom matches the light bulb I used. I used clear plastic to make rods to hold the model in place. While it has a nice effect, i.e. like the model is floating in mid-air, I don't use those pegs anymore as I've had several break during shipping. The plastic works, but the tiniest imperfection in the surface or inside from cracking during cutting and sanding, totally compromises the plastic pegs.

 

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This one shows the basic hull after painting. Air brushing is my prefered method to paint, delivers a much more scale thickness of finish. However, I've yet to find anything that really works well for masking at these tiny sizes, hence the "ridges" of paint in various places.

 

I'll post another series of shots and explanation a bit later.

 

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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John,

 

I echo DSiemen's comments.  Great instructions on bending tubing.  I have often wonder how to do this on a modern sailboat.  I also like your idea to split the upper hull to make carving the cockpit easier.  So many good ideas, from so many ingenious miniaturists!  

 

I look forward to additional photos of this build log.

 

Gwyl

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Greetings DSiemens & Gwyl,

 

I spent a good many hours attempting to get aluminum tubing to form in a oval shape uniformly. I've done it with that method now many times, and it seems to work nearly every time I've tied. There are limits to how far you can squeeze the tubing, as I found when attempting do the same for booms and other metal spars, but for masts it works great. I carved more than a few cockpits by digging down into a solid upper hull, but after the first time I had to build a model that required a divided upper hull, I found out how much easier it was to get decent results that way. Have never looked back since! <G>

 

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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Greetings All,

 

Here is the rest of the Sombrero build.

 

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Where to start with this one? <G> The mast you may notice has a number of holes drilled into it, as well as aluminum flashing spreaders. Nearly all the working rigging on the model, with the exception of the jib sheets, runs through the hollow mast and out the top, through a small hole in the mast cap. Most on the rigging later.

 

Next up are the railings and stanchions for the cable ralings, all made from musical wire. I am a guitar player, so have access to lots of sizes of steel wire from broken strings. It is not particularly easy to bend to exact shape, but it does hold that shape very well. It's basically just a tedious task of bending wire, checking against the install straight stanchions at bow and stern, as well as overall fit and shape, and repeating the bending or unbending until the parts fit properly. All the steel railing parts end at holes in the deck, most angled inwards to keep from poking out of the hull beneath, so bow and stern railing parts have to fit into those holes besides.

 

The anti-slip deck material was faked by printing a plan of the deck with their outlines, then painting the opposite side of the print with flat grey paint. After the paint dried, I carefully cut out the pieces from the printed side, where I could see the outlines. Then the pieces were glued down to the deck.

 

The four winches were made from solid aluminum rod, drawn down to the proper diameter, then a hole was drilled down the center, making a tiny tube. They were mounted by drilling holes the size of the outer diameter of the winch, and gluing them a slight distance into those holes. The jib sheet winches had horizontal  holes drilled through them, to pass the jib sheets through. These were the only working rigging lines that did not travel through the hollow mast.

 

The boom and sheet travelers were made from the aluminum foil taken from the wrapper of a piece of gum. The stuff is about as light as anything one could find, and not paticularly easy to cut and glue down! <G>

 

The cabin roof grab rails were made from wood, heavily saturated with cyano glue, so that it would not split or break while cutting/sanding them into shape.

 

The faking rigging on the cabin roof was run through several gang blocksand jam cleats, where were tiny pieces of black plastic with holes drilled through them to pass the rigging lines. They are totally fake lines, they run from port to starboard, directly through the brass mounting plate of the mast, through the holes mentioned earlier. One line on each side was wrapped around it's appropriate winch. All the lines ended by being belayed to cleats on the cabin stern face. The cleats were made by taking very thin wire, wrapping it over and around a tiny drill bit shank, then twisting the wire ends with a hemostat. I make wire eyes the same way, but in this case I took the finished eyes and carefully squeezed close the opening of the eye, so that it flattened equally on each side of the "stem" of the original eye.

 

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Here we have the fully rigged, completed model, outside of the light bulb of course. First thing I wanted to mention was the sliver cables for much of the standing rigging. For larger scale models I have actually found plastic coated, very fine twisted wire that works great for this. Unfortunately, it is no way near small enough for a model of this size. I tried an experiment that seemed to work fairly well. I found a magic marker that is charged with silver paint at a craft store. By grabbing the end of a piece of thread, laying the rest of a length of the thread on a piece of cardboard, then ran the magic marker down the length of the thread. I did this perhaps two or three times per thread, then ran the thread through a bunched up tissue, to remove excess paint. After letting the thread dry for a day, it kept much of the original silver patina, though it was a bit stiff.

 

Something that sort of stands out is the piece of electrical wire insulation above the cap of the mast. As mentioned earlier, almost all the working rigging passes through the mast and through a hole in the center of the cap. All those lines where then passed through a piece of wire insulation, size of the insulation was chosen as it held the lines tightly. During construction I used a rather large piece of insulation, mostly as it was easier to work with, on the final model I used a much smaller piece, both in length and outer diameter.

 

Most of the rigging is pretty straight forward, fore and aft stays passed through holes drilled just beneath the top of the mast, shroud lines were a single line, centered where it passes through holes on each side of the mast, just beneath the spreakers. Each end of the line then ran down to an eye pad in the deck, then back up through the spreader and into a hole just beneath the mast cap pin on either side. To make things more realistic, I added a short piece of tiny wire insulation that the line passes through on either side of the deck pad eye. This moved up and down as I tightened the shroud line on that side, sometimes I had to manuever it up/down, and pushed it all the way down to the pad eye when the lines were fully tightened.

 

The red lines you see were copied from the real boat, not my choice in color! <G>

 

I was unfortunately in between high resolution printers when I was building this model, so the sails don't have the nice crisp look on their printed surfaces as I usually have. Mirror images of the sails were printed onto thin copy paper, then folded on their centerline and glued together. The jib sail was tied to the fore stay, the main sail tied only to the boom. The boom is where it gets really interesting. The boom is a piece of  aluminum tubing, with holes drilled at locations for the boom sheet block and a block for the red line closer to the mast, on the underside of the boom. Another experiment for this model, the boom sheet line was fully rigged and not workable. Instead, a thread block was tied into the end of a line, and the other end of the line passed through a hole in the bottom of the boom. The line was run to the fore end of the boom, and into a hole in the mast at the boom's location, then up the hollow mast and out through the hole in the cap. When the line was then tightened, it pulled the thread block up to the hole, and then pulled the fore end of the boom up against the mast at the proper height. The actual boom sheet line/rigging was only added after the block thread was tightened. The red thread line was done similarly. The topping lift was glued inside the boom tube, then run up through a hole in the mast.

 

The name of the boat was printed in a cigarette paper, then glued to the fore end roof of the cabin.

 

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Here is another view of the finished model, before bulbing.

 

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And, at last, the final product.

 

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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Hi John,

 

The wonderful thing about this hobby is, every time I see a photo of someones work, I learn a lot, and it also creates a lot of questions.

 

On the traveler and the jib sheet tracks you mentioned you used foil from a wrapper.  Have you ever tried “Bare Metal Foil”?  I haven’t tried it as of yet, but wondered if you, or others have?  It is used a lot on plastic models to simulate chrome parts etc.

 

I really like the stanchions, bow pulpit and the stern rails.  They look like they came right off a real sailboat.  I have a Catalina 30 and these look just like mine.  Real accurate. Lifelines too.

 

Funny you mentioned the red lines.  My boat is predominantly white with blue accent stripes etc, but I installed some red lines for ease of identification when I have others on board.  Not my choice of colors either, but when asking for a trim on the sail from non-sailors, it is so much easier to say, grab the red line, instead of the jib sheet etc.

 

The presentation is the icing on the cake so to speak. The Sailboat fits this bottle to a T.

 

Very nice.

 

Gwyl

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Greetings Gwyl & Jeff,

 

I have never tried the foil stuff you mentioned, at this scale it has to be awfully thin to work at all. It wasn't particularly easy to get the foil off of a gum wraper, and then lay it flat and cut it straight. Besides the obvious problems of being as thin as gold leaf, static electricty gets involved and complicates it even further! <G> Thanks for the kind words about the railing parts! I sometimes have to make them over two or three times to get them just right, music wire is not easy to unbend at all, if you have the bend in the wrong place. A while back I made a model of a Morris 28 Linda boat named Shearwater, quite a bit larger than Sombrero. For this model I used drawn down solid aluminum rod, mainly because I could actually drill holes through it for the lifelines. it had a much more complex cockpit railing system, with foldable ladder! All of the railing parts were made from the drawn aluminum, which required painting after construction with silver paint, as otherwise the aluminum oxides and turns the surface white.

 

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Thanks for the explanation, I really wondered what the red lines were for, they certainly are not common on any vessels I've been on. Makes a lot of sense though, mistakes are no fun on a sailboat! <G>  And, thanks for the kind words about presentation, when I get a commission for a model like this I tend to look around at anything and everything in a clear glass light bulb that would fit the project.

 

Thanks to you too Jeff! Having a lot of different sizes of strings is very handy, I play almost exclusively 12 strings, both acoustic and electric archtops, so have even more sizes than might be considered normal. They can be used for making all sorts to tools as well as railings and such. The wound strings can even be used as small diameter files on some materials.

 

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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Hi John,

 

These last two photos of Shearwater are so full of detail.  I do like the aluminum stanchion idea, making it possible to drill holes for the life lines.  Also self tailing winches and the cockpit dodger frame work look good.  It looks like the mail sail has a bolt rope into the boom. How did you do that?  

 

Gwyl

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Greetings Gwyl & Jeff,

 

The bolt rope is actually a fake, it is tied off beneath the topping lift on the eye bolt. The sail, boom  and the bottom portion of the mast were inserted along with the hull itself. I had a really big opening in the light bulb to work with. That allowed me to permanently attach the main sail to the boom before insertion. The mast divided about as far above the boom as it was above the deck, the upper portion contained most of the rigging line exit and entry points, and a peg was inserted that fit tightly into the lower mast piece. It was really fun to work on the larger scale of Shearwater, it was just under 6" long, as opposed to just over 2" for Sombrero.

 

Thanks Jeff! I do try! <Grin>

 

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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