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Gallery-2  The Falls of Clyde (model-3)

With the basic wood blocks in place, all marked out representing

the positions of each of the frames, to better locate the position of

the various deck furniture, and a set of sticks to represent the stub

masts, we are starting to see a recognisable representation of the

Falls of Clyde.  This is vital for the way that I work, in that this will

now tell me how to proceed and help to keep the proportions even,

through out the build.

The next task is to round the stem and stern, or rather to shape

them to match as closely as possible the photos of the hull in the

water.  There are no hull line drawings still in existence, all

apparently being torn up and used as bandages for the wounded

returning from the front in the first world war - yet another war casualty.  This I got from Sir William Lithgow himself.   Normal wood working tools were used to carve the shape of the stem and stern, then sanded down and marked out for the frame positions.

The next consideration is the Bulwarks, strips of hardwood were put in place to start with, so that I could keep in mind the finished shape of the hull. This I need to help the mind to grasp the problems of the next stage, as one needs to think three or four stages in front.  Should I do it this way or that way and what if??????

Checking through the data looking for problems that needed answering before proceeding too far, the one thing that stood out regarding the Bulwarks was the painting of it, as shown in the original Boardroom portrait of the ship.  This showed the Bulwarks as painted white, but the supports and frame work was all painted mast colour, a sort of orange/yellow.  With 38 stanchion  on each side and the main rail in place this made for 78 very small white rectangles per side, a daunting task not to look forward to for hand painting, as the support wires for the standing rigging also had to be included in this.

My answer was to make up a small sample of the Bulwarks to see what was possible. The ship is an iron ship, and as with the previous 40 frames centre section model to be made in brass to represent the iron, so the bulwark would be in brass sheet - but that long and that narrow, would need support.  There were also the scuppers on the inside and a moulding on the out side of the hull, both at the base of the Bulwark plating, and ideal for stiffening, so this gave me the starting point. I machined a short sample length in rectangular brass bar with upright and a small groove at the base to take the Bulwark plating,  a channel for the scuppers on the inside and a small moulding on the out side.  I had a short length of the stanchions left over from the centre section model, drilled holes in the edge of the scuppers to take the stanchions and made a small recess in the upright to take the foot of it’s backing plate, the top of which I bent at right angles to fit a nick in the Bulwark plating, then filed it back to the thickness of this plating. 

With the Bulwark plate now soft soldered in place to the base including the scuppers and the moulding, making sure not to get solder into where the foot of the stanchion backing plate would go, the Bulwark and base, including the scuppers and the moulding were now one.  The stanchion assembly with backing plate and half of the main rail were a second piece, that could now be clipped into place.  I top rail was now machined with a groove on the underside that would clip over the the top of the Bulwark plating and lock the top of the stanchion backing plates in place.  With a wooden main rail now made up and doweled to the half rail already in place as part of the stanchion assembly, the sample was now complete, and the problem of painting 156 tiny rectangles was eliminated.

Separate the parts, mask the Bulwark assembly and paint the top inside plating white, and the scuppers mast colour, leaving the out side until the complete hull is painted.  Take the stanchion assembly and paint it mast colour and assemble the parts.  With the top rail painted to represent teak and clipped into place, and the second half of the main rail assembled, the white rectangles appear as they should.  The next step was to machine all the parts for the actual model.  As the lengths were too long to machine in one piece, the base/scuppers were machined in three lengths per side and brass doweled then silver soldered together.


For those looking for more information on the construction of the Falls of Clyde, I am running a ‘Log’ on the building of it on the ‘Model Ship World’ web site.

Check out < > and search for ‘Falls of Clyde’

Most of the photos will  be the same as here, but there will I hope be more insight into the actual working of the materials and building of the model.

Four photos are added at the start of each month and relevant text on the building.  It should be running for a considerable time to come, and hopefully will not repeat what I have here too much.