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/

Building card-model ‘Diana’ by Dom Bumagi

I decided to get back into paper modelling at last and chose to start the ‘Diana’, which I bought while living in Ukraine in 2015. I have a number of (unmade!) models of the Pallada class In 1:200, the other ones are all of the Aurora depicted in different build years and by different companies, Polish, Russian and now this, Ukrainian, one.

Looks very impressive and I have not yet built one of their ‘super-detailed’ models, so here goes!

This is actually only my second warship in paper, my first having been the Ark Royal by ‘Maly Modelarz’ probably twelve years ago… a very satisfying build and an impressive display piece, despite its comparative simplicity. That one was stolen (!) during a break-in in 2010. I did have a go at another Russian ship of the line, Bogatyr, but that was damaged badly during the build and had to be scrapped last year 🙁 Up until now I had built quite a few aircraft, which made very pleasing models (but take up a lot of space ) and so I started a  sailing ship , the ‘Coureur’ – still work in progress and the SMS Götzen, which is undergoing a conversion to it’s present livery and build state as still used in Africa.

Regarding the Diana, I’ll skip the history etc and go straight to the model.

I decided to buy the laser-cut frames to save time. Nice is that it can be built either as a waterline model or complete with the hull below the waterline. I didn’t think to compare the laser-cut to those printed As templates in the sheets, I’ll definitely do it the next time, though. The reason I say that is, the width of the laser-cut profiles for the hull below the water-line was wider than the parts for the upper half. Not by a lot, but definitely so. A little less than 0.3mm all round, which is thicker than the card for the hull covering, which will leave an unsightly step? This also means probable trouble fitting the top half of the model? The frames fitted nicely together and were unproblematical, bottom and top halves being made separately, checking them regularly for squareness.

Each individual part of the frames is trimmed and sanded prior to assembly after cutting free, so there are no ‘nibs’ sticking out where they were cut from the card carrier-frame, which would possibly distort or ‘grow’ the assembly unwittingly.

Having glued them up and left them to dry, I filled the hollow frame of the hull with a new material I wanted to try out, but which it turned out is very messy (it leaves a fine dust which sticks to everythingand is too soft. Can’t even remember what it is called, but it was used at the wharf for coring out the reinforcements in the hulls. I shan’t be using it again. Below, you can see that the left hand side is finished and the right is not! It is also visible that it is subject to crushing and therefore difficult to glue.

After sanding the hull to shape, I then filled out the upper half above the waterline (NOT sanding it to shape yet), glued the upper and lower parts together put it all aside to dry and settle:

The next stage is the ‘copper’ hull: Not perfect, but doesn’t look bad either 🙂

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