Temporarily arrested developement

Well, things regarding modelling etc. have come to a virtual standstill, at least with regards to production 🙂

On the 15th August (my mum’s Birthday!), our son, Armstrong Oleksiyj Gouws was born at 00:07h in Herford, Germany, weighing in at 3740 g. and at 50 cm long. All are well (if a little lacking in sleep!), Maryna is well knackered after the Cæsarian and he has in the meantime put on around a Kilo in four weeks and 6 cm – rather over the average, we fear! ‘Relative normality’ will return at some time after 3 Months, so we are crossing our fingers that all goes well.

His arrival has caused a certain amount of turmoil  for us all and my tinkering will have to be temporarily postponed… HOWEVER

I have not stopped thinking and planning about how it will further develop. I searched for useful books and information, that might help to make a more accurate rendering of the Diana and I came accross this publication. Expensive if bought new (€60+), I dragged the net and came up with one for €20, which was more like it! Absolutely fabulous publication with oodles of never-befroe bublished archival photos and technical drawings, not to mention a great deal of history about the trio and some separate technical drawings (unfortunately to 1:300 scale) of all three ships and their innards. An absolute bargain at the money paid. Here an impression of the tome, for those interested in buying!

Interesting is that in the title, the AVRORA is correctly transliterated, but in the text in the book, the same ship is continually alluded to as the AURORA, which is tecnically incorrect but commonly so written.

Diana large davits Part 2

The construction of the davit block was fiddly, requiring more than two hands and ten (fat) fingers, so I need time to work out a better way to do the other three with more precision and less luck. In the meantime I managed to steal a few minutes to cut out the hatches for the hull, which required some accuracy:

To complete the topside of the davit block, I decided to have a go at the blocks that the launch sits on. As proposed in the kit, these are flat-sided and so not very true to life, so I decided to make them  three-dimensional as they should be, to improve their appearance in the rather prominent position that they sit in!

This is what they should look like:

They were primed for folding as originally planned and carefully lined up on both sides. In between I placed a third sheet (made of two printed layers back-to-back after thinning them down by wetting, rolling and stripping the printed side from the white back). You will see that the sheet is both cut and punched to give the right shape, here only part-finished.

Look at the difference between what was originally intended and my extra effort:

After that the pair I made were mounted on the davit-block:

At this stage, after trying it out for size on the ship, I discovered that the curve of davits themselves was a bit flat, meaning that the launch wouldn’t be able to sit on the blocks at all, so that has been corrected and the others have been corrected to suit. The davit-heads still have to be addressed as well as other details before the davits are fitted properly later.

Like other protruding and/or fragile items that might become damaged while handling the ship during the build, these will be fitted near the end when I consider it safe to do so.

Some of these parts were included in the acid etch sheet, but would have been difficult if not impossible to incorporate, due to the construction. The whole sheet I find was filled with unnecessary parts and omitted many more that would have been far more useful – the wheels for the Lafetten, for example, that are missing altogether and would have been more appropriate. I shall use those left over from my Bogatyr 🙂

For the full report, please go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/

Diana storage boxes on deck and companionways 2

A little progress has been made, all the storage boxes are now fitted on the starboard side and another of the companionways, still without the tubular frame for the canvas cover or the hatch – they will come in due time.

Here is the step-by-step building process for the companionways: I noticed that the steps were too wide as drawn to allow the companionway to fit in the holes provided on the decks, If they would simply be glued on to the cheeks, so the only way to fit them would be to cut out the sides and fit them like one would with a real wooden staircase, captured between the cheek-pieces! See below:


Folded together and glued, without the top frame, but the front of the box left open:

So here are the other 4 assembled and ready to be fitted – all lined up like peas in a pod 🙂


Below with and without frames…

And here they are with the top frames and the edges painted appropriately (with Aquarell paints) and with a 1 Euro-Cent piece for size comparison. The footprint of the staircase is ca. 8mm long.

For the full report so far, go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/

First companionway, storage boxes on the port side, strengthening ribs and aft superstructure.

Here is the first companionway, as yet without painted edges etc.

Here a couple more pics from different angles (the same companionway)

And here installed in the forward deck, as yet without hatch and wire frame, but with the edges touched up!

Next comes the addition of the strengthening ribs around the inside of the hull ‘walls’, the storage boxes on deck and the aft superstructure, again not yet fitted with its railings – mind your step!

Oh well, the lighting isn’t great, but you get the idea 🙂

For the full report, please go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/

75mm Gun platform buttresses on deck

The 75mm gun platforms have to be done on the upper deck, which turned out to be a real pain. On all the other models and drawings I have, these outriggers are drawn and constructed as a plain buttress, without reverse curves at the sides. Take a look at the pics and you will see what I mean. Definitely a challenge to build – at least the aft ones only have one side with the reversed curves.

Here is a construction series of that rear one, to show the difference between the straight and the curved side (huge magnification, about 4x life Size?)

And now with the ‘wing’ formed and stuck down from the inside and out.

And how it fits on the starboard side, prior to fitting the tubes through to the portholes and prior to touching up the white edges:

Now the other side is also done!

Slowly, slowly I move forwards. Our baby is due in a few weeks, so I’d better get on with it!

For the full report, please go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/

Hull sides and Hawes pipes, anchor positions as mounted

Ok, so the port side is now on, after a load of trimming and adjustment, but despite that, looks quite good, if not exactly perfect:

One of the storage bins (at huge magnification), which I decided to have a trial at building, despite there not being any help or diagrams from the instructions – I had to resort to the internet to have an idea how they really looked:

Having fitted the forward portion of the hull next to the forward deck, I also wanted to test the fit of the bulges which house the mounts of the Canet 152mm/45cal. Guns. It was not bad, but did need to be ‘modified’. However, I believe that was in part to my slightly oversize deck portion that stuck out. We will see, as all the others have now been trimmed to size! Amazing what half a millimetre can do! Difficult is the double curve aft, where the bulge ‘merges’ into the side. Next time, I’ll also bevel the inside edges to get a smoother transition 🙂 At a ‘normal’ distance, it still looks pretty good, though:

Here the whole starboard side showing all the installed gun ‘pods’

The inside of the starboard side showing the Hawse pipe, but before the glazing and the bars on the front portholes.

Those sides have now been glazed and the bars on the forward portholes near the anchor have been added, too. Tomorrow the wires on the hatches for the aft gun will be added, the rest of the gun mounts will be fitted below deck and maybe the starboard sides of the hull will be glued in place!

Now the same from the seen side!

And completed without cover on the Hawes but reinforcements for the Anchors and the Hawes built up

Still a bit of touching up to do on the hull where the waterline meets the sides.

Through the portals you can see the gun-mounts waiting for the barrels to be fitted, when it is ‘safe’ to do so!

For the full report, please go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/

75mm Canet guns, Hull sides glazing and detailing before fitting including Hawes build

Work on the 75mm guns has begun, but I’m still not completely satisfied. The drawings from the instructions are not very conclusive, but I assume that they don’t expect any greater need for detail; but if they include parts, it should at least be clear where they go and how they look when finished: That goes for a lot of the drawings, which out of economy of space, the reverse side of many views is omitted, leaving the builder to fantasize where the parts go, even if they are different to the side shown in the (very good) drawings. Here a few pics of work in progress and one of the reference pictures I found.


Excellent diagrams from their kit – which, however, leave a few questions:

My first efforts at the 75mm at huge magnification:

Here a later pic of work in progress on the Canet 75mm guns intended for inside the ship behind the hatches in the side. I am getting a bit of practice in for the ‘proper’ ones which will be on full display for the upper deck. Note the change in shape of the cradle for the barrel in the bottom picture, being closer to the archive photo of the gun above … Here unmounted and the edges unpainted.

Lots of detail to refine before I will be satisfied for the guns that will be fully visible on deck! 🙂

So, the hull sides also have to have quite a bit of work done on them before fitting to the carcass: The gun recesses at the aft and the recess behind each anchor, for example. There are various other jobs in sight. I want to cut out the portholes and ‘glaze’ them. I was going to fit brass surrounds, but they are a bit garish, so I opted for gold paint instead 🙂

There are a pair of portholes for each anchor which have bars over them…

… Which I made from 0.1mm copper wire stripped out of some electrical leads and blackened with a permanent marker. Holes were pierced in the card with a sharpened needle and the wires threaded through, pulled taut and glued from the back, same as was done for the ‘risers’ for the hatches for the aft most gun, seen below on the right.


Here are the mid ships gun mounts positioned in their places in the port hull , prior to fitting the sides. I put them in now, as they wouldn’t fit through the hatches afterwards. I don’t want to fit the barrels yet, as they would make the fitting of the hull sides more difficult to do without damaging them. The black spots will end up behind where the portholes will be afterwards…

Another detail I decided to add is the Hawse pipe, as seen in the picture below: The Hawse hole on these ships is built up outside the hull and will be added later.


As work progresses, the bench tends gets more cluttered and has to be cleared again to move on to the next section of the work…

For the full report, please go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/

Diana Decking entirely of real wood planking…

I made the decision again to do the deck in real wood, planked as the original, like some of the other ships I have done – to me it really is worth the trouble. I still had some very thin veneer of the right sort and set about cutting strips about 0.7mm wide in preparation for the bow-deck. Here the deck is started, a sharp scalpel and ruler for cutting and placing the planks. A razor was used to cut the strips, the scalpel is used to cut them to length as I glue them to the reference base – a scan of the original checked for size (VERY important, as scanners and printers do the strangest things to proportions!) and printed out on very thin typewriter-copy-paper.

Cutting is a lengthy process and requires an extremely sharp and thin blade and a good straight-edge. As a straight-edge I prefer to use a scraper, as it is sharpened to cut on the edge. Very usefully, the mushroomed edge grips the paper or wood under it, which is ideal to stop creep while you are cutting. If you don’t have one or know how to sharpen it, any carpenter or furniture-maker will lend a hand, I’m sure. Any metal ruler will do, of course, too.

As a blade, use a safety-razor-blade, an old cut-throat razor (my favourite), a scalpel or a ‘Stanley’-knife, whichever is more comfortable. I actually use all of those, depending on the job, though for the decks, both the razors are more accurate for the strips, cutting a proper 90 degrees as the blade is so thin and doesn’t ‘cut and wedge’ like the thicker scalpel and Stanley tend to do, leaving the cut edges in a ‘v’ shape. Any tendency to wedge can be nasty when combined with a slightly angled grain, too, pulling the knife along it. A thin blade is paramount when ‘correcting’ the width of the planks, since realy minute amounts are shaved off to get them ‘just right’. What you cannot see, is that I actually sand the edges of some of the planks to get them at right angles and to be the right width 🙂

The forward deck is planked and there are some more planks ready for the aft portion of the deck, which comes next. Here are a few pics at the beginning of the planking process and the started work.

Here we see the finished aft deck planked in various woods placed over the original printed sheet from the model. A nice weathered look achieved with Schellack and elbow-grease. Hopefully not over the top when it’s finished. The individual planks are never cut from the same strip when they are laid, I always mix them up, otherwise I could take any piece of veneer and draw the plank lines on it. My rather more complicated method gives a little more of an ‘authentic’ look and feel to it, I hope.

And here the fore-deck in the same manner.

You may even spot the array of tools and useful bits and pieces in the background now and then. Here is a view of my workspace in the ‘living-room’, where Maryna does her art (mostly painting) and I do my various tinkering. Looks nice and tidy here, doesn’t it!

While the deck was drying, in between I finished most of the hull below the waterline, as shown earlier. Before I can even think of attaching the hull-section above the waterline, the below-decks 75mm Canet guns have to be made and installed in the hull and the deck has to be completely finished.

The finished deck now looks fine glued in place:

Some close -ups showing the laid up decking:

The foredeck fitted + the entrance to the deck below – just trying for size before fitting the main deck.

For the full report, please go to https://thingummybob.com/modelmaking/building-dom-bumagis-diana/