Cannons


Painted Cannons Gun Port Doors
The Painted Cannons Port Gun Doors
Close up Gun Door Rigged Cannon Main deck
Gun Door with Rope Attached Rigged Cannons - Main Deck


Cannons - General Information

When built H.M.S. Fly initially had 14 x 6 pounder guns but post October 1779 she had 16 x 6 pounder guns [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Fly_(1776)], which is what the model is now showing. There are 18 gun ports and the forward most two were used for "bow chasers"; a description for this type of cannon can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chase_gun. These will not be included in the guidance notes.

A brief overview is given of some of the cannon's parts as shown in Figure X1 and the corresponding legend.

Figure X1 - Unpainted cast cannon from the model kit
Figure X1 - Unpainted cast cannon from the model kit

LEGEND

A: Breeching ring bolt - (Graphically added); the breeching rope was fixed to a ring bolt in the bulwark and was then passed through another ring bolt on the gun carriage. The rope was spliced over the cascabel of the breech and then forward again through the ring bolt on the side of the carriage and fixed to a ring bolt in the bulwark on that side. When the gun was loaded and run out ready for firing, the breeching rope would be slack (McCarthy 1994, p90)*. The breeching rope was of such a length that, when the cannons were fired, it checked the recoil directly the gun muzzle was immediately within the gun port; in this position it could be reloaded without difficulty (http://www.aboutnelson.co.uk/35armaments.htm).

B: Cascabel - the spherical knob on the breech end of a cannon.

C: Cheeks - the two large wooden slabs held apart by transoms.

D: Trunnions - these are the two cylindrical protrusions either side of the cannon barrel that rests on the carriage; they form a pivot point for the barrel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trunnion).

E: Trucks - these are the four small wheels whose main function was to roll backwards with the recoil of the cannon. The larger wheels are at the front and the smaller at the back, which will account for the camber of the deck (Julier 2003, p78)** .

F: Quoin or mire - pieces of wood with a notch in so they can be draw back or pushed forwards to raise or lower the barrel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_operation).

G: Cap-square - these are strong plates of iron which go over the Trunnions of a cannon, keeping it in its carriage, but are not shown in Figure X1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsquare).


After having research the arrangement for the gun tackle, it was discovered the arrangement shown in the photograph on the kit box lid (Figure X2) is only partially representing what it would have been like. To realistically replicate the correct tackle at this scale is quite difficult, but by understanding the arrangement an attempt can be made to replicate it more authentically.

NOTE: - It must be stressed that this author is only offering an alternative method for completing this part of the build, and as previously written, you the modeller, must decide how H.M.S. Fly is going to look.

Figure X2 - Cannon rigging from kit
Figure X2 - Cannon rigging from kit

Ron McCarthy gives a description of how a 3 pounder would have been handled on pp90-91 together with a diagram which we have reproduced in Figure X3.

Figure X3 - Arrangement of gun tackle (McCarthy p.91)*
Figure X3 - Arrangement of gun tackle (McCarthy p.91)*

1 - "Training Tackle": - this consist of a double block that was fixed onto the gun carriage, and a single block placed in line to this on a ring bolt set in the deck. The single block was placed at a distance just further than the greatest extent of the reach of the breeching rope containing the recoil of the gun.

2 - "Breeching Rope": - this was fixed to the bulwark of the ship, passed through a ring bolt on the side of the carriage and then spliced over the cascabel. The rope was then passed through the other ring bolt on the other side of the carriage and fixed to the bulwark on that side. When the gun was run out ready for firing the breeching rope would be slack as shown in Figure X3.

3 - "Side or gun tackle": - these were used to run the gun out and were fixed to the bulwark by a double block either side of the carriage above the breech rope fixing on the bulwark; single blocks were used on the carriage
(Sourced from McCarthy 1994, pp90-91)*.

By manipulating the two side tackles and the training tackle the gun could be trained onto a target. There were different ways of securing the gun when at sea; one was to use the slack breeching rope and secure it around the axle of the gun carriage and then to secure the remaining slack on both sides above the top of the barrel. Two photographs can be viewed at "Model Space", which will give an illustration of what is being achieved. For the Fly they are not technically correct as the breeching rings above the cascabel were not introduced until later in the eighteenth century (McCarthy 1994, p.90)*, and also they are 12 pounders. The cannon shown in Figure X4 is how this author will rig the cannon's.

* McCarthy, Ron, 1994 in Building Plank-on-Frame Ship Models, "Chapter 6 Detail - Above and Below", Conway Maritime Press, 33 John Street, London WC1N 2AT, pp85-106.
** Julier, Keith, 2003 in Period Ship Kit Builder's Manual, "Chapter 12 Guns", Special Interests Model Books Ltd., P.O. Box 327, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2RG, p.77-80.
Figure X4 - Proposed rigging of the cannon's (Graphically illustrated)
Figure X4 - Proposed rigging of the cannon's (Graphically illustrated)

NOTE: - AMATI is proposing an upgrade kit for HMS Fly and the following details can be found at http://www.euromodels.co.uk/; whilst currently not available, it is likely to include the following as shown in Figure X5: -

Laser cut walnut ply full cannon carriage set (to replace the cast metal carriages)
120 1 hole 2mm blocks to rig the cannon
20 metres of 0.10mm diameter thread to rig the cannon
Photo etched set of monograms and flintlocks for the cannon barrels
Photo etched footrope stirrup set (to replace the wire versions in Fly)
Photo etched hammock cranes and stunsail boom fittings
Photo etched upgraded (new and stronger design) deadeye and futtock strops
Photo etched boat equipment
Ships boat
English flag set

Figure X5 - Upgrade kit for H.M.S. Fly (Not currently available)
Figure X5 - Upgrade kit for H.M.S. Fly (Not currently available)

We are hoping all parts of the upgrade kit can be included in this web sites guidance notes as time progresses. AMATI have kindly supplied a 'Laser cut Walnut full cannon carriage set', (Figure X6) which will be discussed in the guidance notes.

Figure X6 - AMATI Laser cut Walnut full cannon carriage set
Figure X6 - AMATI Laser cut Walnut full cannon carriage set

This authors kit was purchased October 2010; newer kits now have improved gun barrels as shown in Figure X7 . The new gun and original gun barrels are shown side by side and the former has much more detail. Also included in the later kits are 'cap-squares' which sit over the trunnions on the carriage and are shown in Figure X8 . The ones shown are generic and are probably different to the ones supplied in a more recent kit.

Figure X7 - New gun barrel (top) and original from the 2010 kit (bottom)
Figure X7 - New gun barrel (top) and original from the 2010 kit (bottom)

Figure X8 - Cap-squares for the wooden carriages
Figure X8 - Cap-squares for the wooden carriages

My colleague 'Nick' for warned me that the cannon carriages once fitted, were liable to detach themselves from the deck. This is a major problem as once fitted beneath the poop and forecastle decks, they would be particularly difficult to refit as they are no longer accessible. One solutions that the carriage trucks (wheels) are flattened where they sit on the deck, thereby giving a greater surface for adhesion when glued.

It is proposed that the carriages are pinned to the deck beneath the four trucks thereby creating a permanent fixture.

This part of the build will be split up into six sections: -

1. Techniques used to make the carriage eye and breeching rope ring bolts (below)
2. Drilling Holes in the Carriages
3. Permanent method of fixing carriages to deck
4. Painting the cast cannons
5. Making the cannon carriages from the laser cut Walnut
6. Fixing and rigging the breeching ropes (this will be completed later in the build)

Lloyd Matthews – April 2016 ©



#1 Carriage Eye and Breeching Rope Ring Bolts

In considering how to make the breeching rope ring bolts, the first consideration was 'scale'; for example, 1 mm at 1/64 scale in real life is 64 mm or 2.519 inches. The dimensions of the scale cannons from the model kit (purchased October 2010) are shown below, together with full scale dimensions: -

Barrel length (2010 kit) including cascabel = 37 mm (2368 mm - 93 inches - 7ft 9in)
Carriage length = 23 mm (1472 mm - 58 inches - 4ft 10ins)
Width of cheeks = 11 mm (704 mm - 28 inches - 2ft 4ins)
Maximum height of cheeks from deck = 11 mm - 28 inches - 2ft 4ins)
Forward truck = 6 mm (384 mm - 15 inches - 1ft 3ins)
Back truck = 5 mm (320 mm - 13 inches - 1ft 1ins)

(Measurements are rounded up)

Ron McCarthy* writes that for a 3 pounder gun the breeching rope would have had a circumference of 4 inches, but for larger guns it would have had a greater circumference (McCarthy 1994, p90). He illustrates the dimensions of the 3 pounder in Figure Y1.

Figure Y1 - Mid eighteenth-century 3pounder gun and carriage, showing component parts of the carriage. Inset the quoin (top) and cap-square (McCarthy 1994, p90)*
Figure Y1 - Mid eighteenth-century 3pounder gun and carriage, showing component parts of the carriage. Inset the quoin (top) and cap-square (McCarthy 1994, p90)*

A circumference of 4 inches gives a diameter of 1.27 inches (4ins / 3.142 [π]), so this will be used as an approximate guide for our model. The breeching rope ring in Figure Y1 can be measured and compared to the other dimensions for its size. For example, from the illustration in the book the breeching ring is 2mm; the width of the carriage is shown as 14.5 inches and from the illustration it measures 18mm. The calculation of 14.5 inches divided by 18mm and multiplied by 2mm = 1.61 inches. H.M.S. Fly's has 6 pounder guns therefore the breeching rope and ring would have been larger.

* McCarthy, Ron, 1994 in Building Plank-on-Frame Ship Models, "Chapter 6 Detail - Above and Below", Conway Maritime Press, 33 John Street, London WC1N 2AT, pp85-106.

The making and fitting of the breeching rope ring bolts utilises basic jewellery making skills; information on these skills are available on the Internet. This author's neighbour 'Deba' teaches jewellery making and has kindly provided guidance prior to the writing of these notes. A useful website to visit for materials, tools and ideas is http://www.cooksongold.com/.

Certain basic items will be required; firstly a charcoal block on which the silver soldering will take place. Deba said that this was the best material as it will reflect the heat from behind the item. When purchasing a new charcoal block it will require iron wire tied around the outside to prevent it from splitting when first used. Also make sure it stands on an insulated surface for safety (Figure Y2).

Secondly a butane gas torch is required for heating the solder. This author used his wife's kitchen torch (Figure Y3).

Thirdly 'easy' Silver Solder Paste, which contains its own flux (Figure Y4) and was very simple to use. Beware; it is highly toxic and all the precautions on the label should be followed especially working in a well ventilated room.

Figure Y2 - Charcoal block
Figure Y2 - Charcoal block

Figure Y3 - Butane gas kitchen torch
Figure Y3 - Butane gas kitchen torch

Figure Y4 - 'easy' Silver Solder Paste
Figure Y4 - 'easy' Silver Solder Paste

A pair of round nosed pliers is required for making the eye bolts; those shown in Figure X5 were from a 'budget range' and are approximately 0.75mm in diameter at the ends. More expensive pliers can be purchased where the nose ends are much smaller in diameter.

Figure Y5 - Round nosed pliers
Figure Y5 - Round nosed pliers

Central to the making of the breeching rope rings are the 'rings' themselves. For this silver 'jump' rings are used. As seen in Figure Y6 this author purchased rings with 2.2mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm and 3.5mm outside diameters. A range was obtained purely for experimental purposes.

Figure Y6 - Four silver 'jump' rings
Figure Y6 - Four silver 'jump' rings

This author had never attempted silver soldering before, so Deba suggested two important things. Firstly, get a feel for exactly how much heat can be applied to the silver before it turns into a silver ball as seen in Video Y1. Secondly, put a little silver solder onto a piece of silver to see how much heat is required before it melts, as seen in Video Y2.

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Video Y1 - Heating a piece of silver until it forms a 'silver ball'

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Video Y2 - Getting used to heating the 'easy solder'

Many modellers are probably used to silver soldering, but it is hoped that these basic examples will be useful for the beginner.

There are two eye bolts required for each carriage so a total of 32 will be required. They are made from 0.4 mm diameter silver wire and in Figure Y7, Figure Y8, Figure Y9, Figure Y10, Figure Y11, Figure Y12, Figure Y13, Figure Y14, Figure Y15, Figure Y16, Figure Y17, Figure Y18, Figure Y19, Figure Y20, Figure Y21 and Figure Y22 we illustrate how they are made.

Figure Y7 - 0.4 mm silver wire is cut 7 mm in length
Figure Y7 - 0.4 mm silver wire is cut 7 mm in length

Figure Y8 - The silver wire is held firmly in the round nosed pliers
Figure Y8 - The silver wire is held firmly in the round nosed pliers

Figure Y9 - The silver wire is bent around the end of
Figure Y9 - The silver wire is bent around the end of
the pliers for approximately 80% of its diameter

Figure Y10 - The carriage eye is held with a pair of self closing tweezers and the eye is then fully closed with a small pair of flat nosed jewellery pliers. Ensure that the eye is round; its shape can be adjusted with the pliers
Figure Y10 - The carriage eye is held with a pair of self closing tweezers and the eye is then fully closed with a small pair of flat nosed jewellery pliers. Ensure that the eye is round; its shape can be adjusted with the pliers

Figure Y11 - The carriage eye is ready for soldering
Figure Y11 - The carriage eye is ready for soldering

Figure Y12 - A small amount of easy solder is applied with a pin
Figure Y12 - A small amount of easy solder is applied with a pin

Figure Y13 - Heat is gradually applied to the easy solder until it melts
Figure Y13 - Heat is gradually applied to the easy solder until it melts

Figure Y14 - A tool is made for straightening the carriage eye
Figure Y14 - A tool is made for straightening the carriage eye

Figure Y15 - A sewing pin is put through the carriage eye
Figure Y15 - A sewing pin is put through the carriage eye

Figure Y16 - The carriage eye is straightened with the tool
Figure Y16 - The carriage eye is straightened with the tool



Figure Y17 - The straightened carriage eye
Figure Y17 - The straightened carriage eye

Note: - An alternative to using the 'lollipop' tool is a pair of flat pliers, which could be used to bend the carriage eye straight. Please see the video below.

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Figure Y18 - A 'pickling' solution is made from white vinegar and salt. The carriage eye is soaked in it and then washed in water
Figure Y18 - A 'pickling' solution is made from white vinegar and salt. The carriage eye is soaked in it and then washed in water

Figure Y19 - 'Platinol' is used to oxidise the silver
Figure Y19 - 'Platinol' is used to oxidise the silver

Figure Y20 - A small amount of Platinol is put into a plastic container
Figure Y20 - A small amount of Platinol is put into a plastic container

Figure Y21 - The carriage eye is left in Platinol for approximately 5 minutes
Figure Y21 - The carriage eye is left in Platinol for approximately 5 minutes

Figure Y22 - Completed carriage eye
Figure Y22 - Completed carriage eye

To make the breeching rope ring bolt a carriage eye is first made as described above, then Figure Y23, Figure Y24, Figure Y25 and Figure Y26 is followed.

Figure Y23 - A 2.2 mm jump ring is put into a carriage eye; the jump ring will need to be open so it will go into the eye and then closed prior to soldering

Figure Y24 - A small amount of easy solder is applied with a pin to the jump ring joint
Figure Y24 - A small amount of easy solder is applied with a pin to the jump ring joint

Figure Y25 - Just sufficient heat is applied to melt the easy solder, ensuring that the jump ring joint is heated away from the solder on the eye
Figure Y25 - Just sufficient heat is applied to melt the easy solder, ensuring that the jump ring joint is heated away from the solder on the eye

The breeching ring bolt is soaked in white vinegar and salt, washed in water and then soaked in Platinol with the finished result being shown in Figure Y26.

Figure Y26 - The finished breeching ring bolt
Figure Y26 - The finished breeching ring bolt

A total of 32 breeching ring bolts will be needed for the cannon carriages, and in addition 32 will be required for the bulkheads; a total of 64 are required. Alternatively, only the cannons that are seen on the gun deck need have them, again it is the choice of the modeller.

A stand is made to hold the carriage on its side and this can be seen in Figure Y27, Figure Y28 and Figure Y29.

Figure Y27 - Holes are drilled for the fore and aft carriage trucks (wheels)
Figure Y27 - Holes are drilled for the fore and aft carriage trucks (wheels)

Figure Y28 - Carriage on its side viewed from the top
Figure Y28 - Carriage on its side viewed from the top

Figure Y29 - Carriage on its side viewed from the bottom
Figure Y29 - Carriage on its side viewed from the bottom

The approximate positions of the carriage eye and the breeching rope ring bolts can be seen in Figure Y1, and these positions are marked on the carriages with a fine point permanent marker (Figure Y30).

Figure Y30 - Carriage eye and breeching rope ring marked on the side of carriage
Figure Y30 - Carriage eye and breeching rope ring marked on the side of carriage

Using a centre punch (FigureY31), the middle of these marks is marked as this will make it easier for the drill to starts its hole (Figure Y32).

Figure Y31 - Centre punch
Figure Y31 - Centre punch

Figure Y32 - Centre punch marks for the carriage eye and breeching rope ring bolts
Figure Y32 - Centre punch marks for the carriage eye and breeching rope ring bolts

Both a 0.4 mm and 0.5 mm diameter holes were drilled to check which was best for the 0.4mm silver wire. It was found that the wire could go through a 0.4 mm hole, but once the wire had been soaked in Platinol its diameter altered slightly. For this reason a 0.5 mm drill was used for the holes and these were drilled using a craft drill stand as shown in Figure Y33.

Figure Y33 - Craft drill stand with carriage
Figure Y33 - Craft drill stand with carriage

I recommend that for drilling the holes '3 in 1' oil should be used as a lubricant for the drill bit prior to starting. When the hole was partially drilled more oil was applied to the drill to ensure it was always fully lubricated. This made the drilling a lot easier and will reduce the number of drill bits required.

The Carriage eye and the breeching rope ring are then loosely fitted into the carriage as shown in Figure Y34.

Figure Y34 - Carriage eye and breeching rope ring are loosely fitted
Figure Y34 - Carriage eye and breeching rope ring are loosely fitted

Lloyd Matthews – June 2016 ©



More on Cannons

NOTE: As before make sure you paint the cannons first and sand flat the base of the carriage wheels, scrape off any varnish from the planking to ensure the glue grips well.

If you have a sick sinking feeling that's because you have just realized that you should have fitted the stern deck carriages before the upper deck was completed. Not much I can suggest here other than a deep breath. It is possible to fit the carriage without removing the deck but it is VERY difficult. I had a carriage come loose and it took me some time to re-glue it.

If you have to do it this way get a syringe and use this to place the glue in the correct position. It can be done through the gun ports. Use long nosed pliers to position the carriage.

The cannon rigging is basic here as the carriages don't allow for a block etc so nice and easy. If I was doing this build again I would definitely add blocks and fully rig the cannon. Something you may wish to consider?

The gun ports are best fitted before the channels as this gives you plenty of room to work. I followed the plans for the port doors and fitted the stern ones in the open position with the two fore ones closed.

I also added a rope to the doors for a more realistic finish.

The rail cannons can be fitted once the rigging is completed as it saves getting snags while working.




 

#2 Drilling Holes in the Carriages

This author found drilling the carriage holes very challenging, and for this reason it is felt that a few words should be written to explain how it was done. For experienced modellers this section can be ignored, but for those who are doing this for the first time, it is perhaps worth noting the following observations.

The holes drilled are 0.4 - 0.6 mm diameter with HSS drills. Small diameter drills require a high speed and this author used a 12 volt MiniCraft hobby drill.

Testing found making a small centre punch hole enabled the drill to 'bite' into the metal, and it also easier to align the tip of the drill to the centre punch indentation. Testing showed that starting with a 0.4 mm drill to create a pilot hole was the easiest method, followed by a 0.5 mm and 0.6 mm drill as required. It may be felt that just drilling the 0.5 mm and 0.6 mm holes would be quicker, so as these are guidance notes only, the individual modeller must decide their own best way.

Adopting the method of drilling a 0.4 mm pilot hole, it should be noted that for the 16 carriages the following number of holes drilled are: -
160 holes @ 0.4 mm
160 holes @ 0.5 mm
128 holes @ 0.6 mm

A total of 448 holes are drilled and approximately 30 x 0.4 mm, 15 x 0.5 mm and 15 x 0.6 mm drills were used. When using the drills bits, if they stop drilling immediately discard it otherwise the tip will break in the hole being drilled; if this happens the carriage will need to be discarded. This happened several times to this author, and the broken drills could not be removed. It was found that approximately 20% of the 0.4 mm drills had to be discarded almost immediately the drilling began. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO PERSERVE BECAUSE IT IS A NEW DRILL BIT; this is written from bitter experience!

The MiniCraft drill used has a keyless chuck and it was found that the drill bits easily worked themselves loose. It was found that a pair of 6.5 inch wire pliers, and 'Channellock' 9.5 inch straight jaw tongue and groove pliers was used to tighten the chuck; it is important that it is not over tightened (Figure AA 1 ). These tools were used only because they were available, and other methods could be employed to tighten the chuck.

Keyless chuck is tightened using a pair of tongue & groove and wire pliers
Fig AA1 - Keyless chuck is tightened using a pair of tongue & groove and wire pliers

Depending upon where the hole are to be drilled in the carriage, ensure that it is securely held in the appropriate wooden support, as explained in the previous section at http://hmsfly.com/cannonAndChannels.html (Figures Y27, Z2 and Z4). Determine the depth of the hole and set the drilling stand depth stop appropriately. Changing the drill bits can be made simpler by creating a simple gauge to which the drill bit is aligned to as shown Figure AA2 , so the correct depth is always achieved

Fig AA2 - Changing drill bits
Fig AA2 - Changing drill bits

When drilling the holes it is vital to ensure that the drill bit is always well lubricated and this author used '3 in 1 Oil'. An old paint brush and a small jar of oil were used to apply it. Alternatively WD-40 could be used as a lubricant.

When all the necessary drilling is completed the carriages were cleaned with 'Mr Muscle', a kitchen spray cleaner which removes grease and grime. A 0.4 mm interdental tooth brush was used to clean out the 0.6 mm holes of any oil.

Note: -

Initially in 'Permanent method of fixing Carriages to the deck' - http://hmsfly.com/cannonAndChannels.html (Figure Z3), the top of the carriage's were filed flat ready for drilling. It was found that using a rotary sander in the drill stand was more efficient as show in Figure AA3.

- Rotary sander used to prepare the carriage tops for drilling
Fig AA3 - Rotary sander used to prepare the carriage tops for drilling

Lloyd Matthews – September 2016 ©

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#3 Permanent Method of Fixing

Carriages to Deck

In the introduction to the cannon's, Nick highlighted the problem that if those cannons which were covered by the deck became dislodged it was extremely difficult to refit them. For this reason, rather than glue them onto the deck, they will be pinned and glued through the deck.

It must be stressed that this author has never attempted anything like this before, so Nicks warning has been taken very seriously. These guidance notes are explaining how the various problems were overcome. Those expert modellers who have fixed cannon's to the deck many times before and have not become detached, perhaps they could share their techniques with us. This author has read that if the carriages are glued to the deck, the bottom of the carriage wheels should be filed a little flat so there would be greater adhesion to the deck.

The cannons barrels will not be glued to the carriages. Cap squares will be used to locate the trunnions to the carriages; these will be pinned in place, which means the cannon's will pivot on the trunnions until they are lashed down with the breeching rope.

This author has built a second hull for the Fly which is used for testing various build techniques prior to constructing on the actual model. The cannons are an example of this and the technique for fixing them onto the deck will be first explained using the test hull as shown in Figure Z1, but will be exactly the same as used in the build.

figZ1 - Carriage pinned to the deck of the test hull

figZ1 - Carriage pinned to the deck of the test hull

A piece of 35 mm x 30 mm x 6 mm wood strip is cut and glued beneath the deck where each of the carriages will be pinned. The nylon beading thread will then have a greater area of adhesion around the inside of the holes beneath each truck (wheel).

The carriage is drawn over a flat piece of abrasive paper to lightly mark where the trucks (wheels) will be making contact with the deck. Initially it was found that it was difficult for the drill to 'bite' into the metal, but creating a small indentation with a centre punch made drilling much easier as shown in Figure Z2. The drill stand that is shown in Figure Y22 in the guidance notes for 'Carriage Eye and Breeching Ring Bolts' is used to drill the holes; make sure plenty of lubrication is used as this will prolong the life of the drills. The drill stand has a depth stop which will need to be set to ensure that the drill does not come out through the top of the truck.

Figure Z2 - Holes are drilled in the bottom of the trucks (wheels) to accept the nylon beading thread
Figure Z2 - Holes are drilled in the bottom of the trucks (wheels) to accept the nylon beading thread

Cap squares will be used to locate the cannon's trunnions; the carriage will need to be modified as shown in Figure Z3 and four 6 mm holes drilled to locate the cap squares. For the drilling of these holes a tool will need to be made to hold the carriage securely in position, and this is shown in Figure Z4. The cross beam is made from flat and square section brass, silver soldered together. The distance between the cap square locating holes is 5.5 mm so corresponding holes will need to be drilled into the carriage. The positions of the holes are first marked with a permanent marker pen and then a centre point is used to create a small indentation to aid the drilling process. Holes 0.5 mm are drilled first followed by a 0.6 mm drill; ensure that they are well lubricated whilst drilling, and also ensure that the depth stop is set at the correct distance.

Figure Z3 - Four holes drilled for locating the cap squares
Figure Z3 - Four holes drilled for locating the cap squares

Figure Z4 - Simple tool made for holding the carriage when drilling the cap square holes
Figure Z4 - Simple tool made for holding the carriage when drilling the cap square holes

Note: - After having drilled all the holes in the carriages they will be dirty and oily and will need to be cleaned. This author used 'Mr Muscle', a spray kitchen cleaner which removes grease and grime. All the carriages were sprayed with this liquid and then brushed in warm water. Ensure any oil is removed from all the drilled holes as glue will be put into them, and good adhesion to the metal surface is required.

Sewing pins are cut to approximately 4 mm in length; this author found the easiest way to cut them was with a MiniCraft drill fitted with a rotary cutting blade. Fitting the sewing pins into the carriage is not easy and it is advised that this procedure is practised many times prior to fixing the carriages to the deck. Much time was spent on experimenting the best way to do this; it must be remembered that the carriages would have already been pinned to the deck prior to the cannons being fitted. The rear ones are particularly awkward as the top of the gun port patterns are sloping slightly inwards over the carriages, making access to the cap squares that little more difficult.

One end of a 3 mm craft stick has two sided sticky tape fixed over its end; the pin head is stuck to the sticky tape which will enable the pin to be positioned into the hole as shown in Figure Z5. It is stressed that this is practised many times before putting adhesive into the hole to fix the pin into place.

Figure Z5 - Cap squares are located over the trunnions and fixed to the carriage with pins
Figure Z5 - Cap squares are located over the trunnions and fixed to the carriage with pins

Drilling the holes in the deck through which the nylon beading thread will hold the carriages to the deck is a simple process, but one that must be methodically completed for each of the individual carriages. The position of the holes beneath each truck will be unique to that carriage, so consequently the corresponding holes drilled in the deck will also be unique for each of the carriages. This is resolved by making individual acetate templates for each carriage; a method should be devised ensuring that the templates and carriages are married to each other i.e. the pairs are individually numbered.

Where the gun port pattern meets the deck, is the point from which the holes beneath the trucks will be referenced from. The front of each carriage rests against the gun ports, but they slope at a slight angle which varies depending upon the position of the gun port in the hull. An allowance must be made for this slight slope when referencing the holes beneath the trucks. This is gauged by using a simple tool which is shown in Figure Z6.

Figure Z6 - The reference point for the truck holes is determined
Figure Z6 - The reference point for the truck holes is determined

It can be seen from Figure Z6 that an allowance of 1 mm must be added to the template for the front of the carriage for this particular gun port,

An acetate template is made so the position of the holes in each truck can be accurately marked on the deck. The carriage must be positioned so it is in alignment to the gun port, and it should be noted that the widths of the gun ports are not all identical. Referring to Figure Z7 it can be seen that the width of the gun port is marked on the template and then this is positioned centrally on the carriage.

Sewing pins are pushed into the holes beneath each truck; when the template is removed from the carriage it is placed on a piece of balsa wood and the pins are again pushed into the same holes from the reverse side. This will make marking the truck positions on the deck much easier as the pin holes will be bigger.

Figure Z7 - Width of gun port aligned centrally on the carriage
Figure Z7 - Width of gun port aligned centrally on the carriage

The template is positioned on the model in front of the relevant gun port as shown in Figure Z8 ensuring that the template is central to the gun port. The sewing pins then mark the position of the truck holes on the deck as shown in Figure Z8.

Figure Z8 - The truck holes are marked on the deck
Figure Z8 - The truck holes are marked on the deck

The holes closest to the gun port patterns are very difficult to drill especially aft; the holes in the deck were drilled using a 0.7 mm BUSCH 203 HSS Mounted Drills (on 2.3 mm Shank). Coincidently a 1/8 inch Round Copper Tube was at hand and the shank of this drill fitted inside the tube. This was silver soldered inside the tube; when this was being done care was taken to minimise the heat reaching the drill tip. It was then relatively easy to twist this drill with the fingers at the precise spot required for the holes in the deck, as shown in Figure Z9.

Figure Z9 - Truck holes are drilled into the deck
Figure Z9 - Truck holes are drilled into the deck

After the holes are drilled the nylon thread is checked to ensure that it will easily thread into each hole (Figure Z10). It could be that a 0.6 mm brass rod needs to be inserted into each hole just to clear any debris that is remaining in the hole after drilling.

The nylon thread is superglued into each of the truck holes; to ensure a good adhesion; the end of each thread was dipped into a quantity of superglue and then put into the hole and worked up and down. This process was repeated several times until there is a good amount of super glue in the hole; it was allowed to dry for about an hour.

It was found that cutting the nylon thread different lengths for each hole made it easier to insert all four into the deck. For example, cut the threads 35 mm, 25 mm, 20 mm and 15 mm. The longest is inserted first, the second longest next etc; practice this a few times before applying the adhesive in the holes (Figure Z11).

Figure Z10 - The nylon beading thread is super glued into the trucks
Figure Z10 - The nylon beading thread is super glued into the trucks

 

Figure Z11 - Nylon beading thread are inserted into the deck
Figure Z11 - Nylon beading thread are inserted into the deck

GLUE USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CARRIAGE

Whilst looking through the Cooksongold catalogue (http://www.cooksongold.com/) an adhesive known as "G-S HYPO CEMENT" was found and experimented with. Details can be found at http://www.gshypocement.com/

It has a very fine applicator which made it suitable for applying adhesive to the small holes in the carriage however; the flow of adhesive was very difficult to control. This was rectified by using disposable medical syringes to apply the adhesive.

Note: - Whilst this adhesive initially looked very promising, it was been found that in some instances the carriages could become free. Please read " Painting the Cast Cannons & Fitting Preparations" and look for the section after Figure AB11 for further guidance.



The syringes are commonly available from the internet or pharmacies but do check that the needles come with the syringe as with some they are sold separately.

WARNING! THE NEEDLES ON THE SYRINGES CAN BE DANGEROUS SO HANDLE WITH CARE AND NEVER LEAVE THE NEEDLES ACCESSIBLE TO CHILDREN.

Details of two syringes experimented with: -
Needle - BD Microlance 3 25G 5/8" 0.5 x 16 mm Ref 300600
Syringe - 1 ml BD Plastipak REF 30013
(The important information is the 0.5 mm diameter needle which is suitable for injecting adhesive into the deck holes)

An insulin syringe was also used - BD U-100 Insulin 1ml and this has a 0.3 x 12 mm needle.

(The important information is the 0.3 mm diameter needle which is suitable for injecting adhesive into the holes in the carriage).

It was found that if the G-S HYPO CEMENT is OK in the syringe for about 12 hours but left longer it will set and cannot be used. The syringes are disposable and inexpensive and a small amount of G-S HYPO Cement can be transferred to the syringe and used as required and then safely disposed of. Alternatively the syringes could be stored using a kitchen vacuum packer or wrapped in cling film etc; anything to keep them protected from air.

Any excess adhesive can be removed with 'Rubbing Alcohol'. It must be stressed that this adhesive has only been used for experimentation but initial results appear to be very favourable.

Using the 0.5 mm diameter needle the G-S HYPO CEMENT is injected into the deck holes as shown in Figure Z12; the graduations on the syringe can be used as a guide in determining the amount of adhesive injected. Remember that any excess adhesive will collect in the hull but sufficient is required to ensure a good bond is achieved between the nylon thread and wood strip that was fixed beneath the gun carriage.

Adhesive can be more precisely applied with the insulin syringe as shown in Figure Z13.

Figure Z12 - G-S Hypo Cement is injected into the deck holes with a 0.5 mm syringe
Figure Z12 - G-S Hypo Cement is injected into the deck holes with a 0.5 mm syringe

Figure Z13 - G-S Hypo Cement is injected into the holes of the carriage with a 0.3 mm syringe
Figure Z13 - G-S Hypo Cement is injected into the holes of the carriage with a 0.3 mm syringe

Assembly of the carriage on the deck with the cannon located on its trunnions with the cap squares is shown in Figure Z14 (test hull).

Figure Z14 - Completed carriage, cannon and cap squares (test hull)
Figure Z14 - Completed carriage, cannon and cap squares (test hull)

Finished Cannon, depending on your kit the cannon may be slightly different.
Finished Cannon, depending on your kit the cannon may be slightly different.

Lloyd Matthews – August 2016 ©

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# 4 Painting the Cast Cannons & Fitting

Preparations

Note: - Up to this point only incidental painting was completed with a brush, however the painting of the cannons has highlighted a new skill that the novice modeller needs to consider - painting with an 'Airbrush'. The cannons could all be painted with a brush, as can all items connected with the Fly, but having used canned spray paint on the 'Alexander Brodie Stove' it has made this author realise that spray painting is something that must be considered for other parts of the Fly. Initially Humbrol satin 85 (acrylic spray) was used to paint the cannon barrels, but the carriages require a mix of Humbrol matt 60 with 25% matt 70; this cannot be purchased in a spray can; also using hobby spray paints over time can be expensive.

Airbrush painting has been researched for use with the Fly, but it must be stressed that this author has had no prior experience on this subject, and in writing the guidance notes 'Airbrush Painting', the initial experiences of research and the first purchase of an airbrush will be shared.

Creating the 4 cap squares pins in the guidance notes 'Permanent method of fixing carriages to deck' (Figure Z5) was simple, however 64 will be required; in fact 68 were made so there were spares. Rather than using a rotary cutting wheel as suggested, a mini grinding wheel was found easier to accomplish this task, as shown in Figure AB1 .

A grinding wheel is used to cut the sewing pins to 4 mm in length
Fig AB1: A grinding wheel is used to cut the sewing pins to 4 mm in length

Only the top of the pinheads will require to be painted as the rest of the pins will be inserted and glued into the carriages to hold the cap squares in position. Using a scrap piece of 4 mm ply, 0.6 mm holes were drilled into which the pins are inserted. The pin heads are first sprayed with 'HALFORDS etch primer' and allowed 24 hours to dry as per the instructions; they were then sprayed with HUMBROL satin 85 as shown in Figure AB2.

The cap square pinheads are painted
Fig AB2: The cap square pinheads are painted

Two sided sticky tape is placed on a flat card; the cap squares are spaced on the tape. They are then sprayed with HALFORDS etch primer, and Humbrol satin 85 (Figure AB3).

Cap squares are painted as they are held by two sided sticky
Fig AB3: Cap squares are painted as they are held by two sided sticky

The cast carriage's have casting marks on the wheels and burs on some of their edges; when painted these will be seen and are particularly noticeable on the wheels as shown in Figure AB4 . These were filed flat so the carriages will look a little more realistic.

Casting marks can be seen on the carriages when painted
Fig AB4: Casting marks can be seen on the carriages when painted

Whether these burs/casting marks are filed or left is down to the choice of every modeller. This author chooses to remove the burs and once completed the carriages were sprayed with a coat of HALFORDS etch primer; these were allowed to dry for 24 hours.

Acetate templates were made for each of the carriages as described in 'Permanent method of fixing carriages to deck' (Figure Z7). Each was marked according to the gun port, and the relevant carriages were also labelled as shown in Figure AB5 . Note, masking tape was placed over the labels to protect them from spray paint. Tooth picks were placed at the front of the carriages; when they are removed any possible touching-up painting imperfections will not be seen.

Carriages on toothpicks and held in polystyrene ready for spray painting
Fig AB5: Carriages on toothpicks and held in polystyrene ready for spray painting

Enamel paint is thinned so it is like milk; this author had two identical pots, one which contained whole milk and the other in which the enamel is thinned. Add thinner to the enamel until the required viscosity is achieved. This author found that just slightly moving each pot was the best way to gauge the viscosity (Figure AB6 ).

Humbrol enamel is compared to whole milk to obtain the correct viscosity
Fig AB6: Humbrol enamel is compared to whole milk to obtain the correct viscosity

This author used two 'Frank Cooper's mini marmalade pots which are approximately 40 mm in height and 40 mm in diameter (external dimensions). When thinned the enamel filled approximately one third of a pot which was sufficient for spraying the 16 carriages with some remaining. It is better to mix a little more than what is required as some will be required to touch up the carriages when the tooth picks are removed from the front of each carriage. When checking them the day after they have been painted, it is possible that a carriage will require a little extra coverage, as happened with two of this author's carriages.

If this is the first time airbrush painting has been attempted it is recommended that there is plenty of practice. In the event the first attempt is not satisfactory, briefly soaking the carriages in paint stripper will remove the paint, and the whole process can be repeated.

Through experimentation this author found that the best results were obtained by setting the SprayCraft SP30KC air pressure to medium. Each carriage was held by its tooth pick ensuring the airbrush was systematically and continuously moved quickly backward and forwards over the carriage.

It must be stressed that it is this author's first attempt at airbrushing so there is still much to learn. The completed painted carriages are shown in Figure AB7

Spray painted carriages
Fig AB7: Spray painted carriages

As each of the tooth picks are removed, the carriages are relabelled with masking tape as shown in Figure AB7

Each of the holes in the carriage will need a drill to be hand worked in each of the holes to ensure that no paint is in them.

The cannon barrels will need to be sprayed first with etch primer and then with Humbrol satin 85. Do not forget to apply a little paint on the inside of the barrel muzzle. A completed barrel is shown in Figure AB8.

Two types of cannon barrels
Fig AB8: Two types of cannon barrels

Figure AB9 and Figure AB10 show the cannon carriages and barrels with the carriage eyes and breeching rope rings all loosely assembled (Note: The ring bolts should have been positioned with the eye horizontal as shown in Figure AB18 ). After painting the carriage shown in Figure AB10, it was found to be more difficult to fit the cap square and pins. With painting the barrel trunnions one set is a little larger than the other as can be seen in Figure AB8.

Original barrel mounted on the carriage
Fig AB9: Original barrel mounted on the carriage

In the guidance notes 'Permanent method of fixing carriages to deck' it was shown how the carriages would be pinned through the deck with nylon beading thread (Figure Z1 and Figure Z2). Figure AB11 shows the blocks of wood being fitted to the Fly through which the nylon thread will be passed.

Recent barrel mounted on a carriage
Fig AB10: Recent barrel mounted on a carriage

cks of wood glued below the carriages
Fig AB11: cks of wood glued below the carriages

When writing the guidance notes for 'Permanent method of fixing carriages to deck', the adhesive 'G-S Hypo Cement' was experimented with and was initially found to be OK. Subsequent experimentation showed that unless the nylon thread was fully covered with adhesive in the deck hole, there could be likelihood that the gun carriages become dislodged. For this reason other adhesives were experimented with to find one that was very strong and could be applied through a medical syringe and also not set too quickly.

During this process the following website was found which was very informative regarding the various adhesives available for modelling - http://www.scalemodelguide.com/construction/materials/learn-glue/.
In addition to G-S Hypo Cement, two further adhesives were used for experimentation:-

Both adhesives could be used in a medical syringe and provided a more secure fixing than the G-S Hypo Cement. This author felt that the 'LOCTITE 60 sec. all-purpose glue' would provide a more secure fixing as shown in Figure AB12 , where a weight in excess of 1.5Kg was hung from the carriage and it remained secure. A greater margin of error in syringing the adhesive into the hole could be allowed.

Masking tape covers the 4 holes to protect the deck from adhesive
Fig AB12: Masking tape covers the 4 holes to protect the deck from adhesive

There will potentially be a problem of excess glue spilling onto the deck, but this can be resolved by placing Tamiya Masking Tape over the 4 holes in the deck prior to injecting the glue into the holes. The needle will easily pierce the masking take as shown in Figure AB13.

Masking tape protects the deck being marked by adhesive
Fig AB13: Masking tape protects the deck being marked by adhesive

The nylon beading thread is fed into each of the holes in the deck for each of the carriage trucks until Pt. No 19 - Lower deck is reached, as shown in Figure AB14 . Whilst holding the tweezers firmly the nylon is removed from the hole and is cut. This serves the added advantage of ensuring that each hole is clear of any debris which could restrict the nylon thread from being pushed through the hole.

Tweezers holds the nylon thread in the hole so the correct length is cut
Fig AB14: Tweezers holds the nylon thread in the hole so the correct length is cut

When each of the nylon threads is cut they are placed in the carriage trucks or holes drilled in a piece of wood that represent the carriage trucks.

The carriage eyes and the breeching rope ring bolts are fixed into the carriages with 'LOCTITE 60 sec. all-purpose glue'; at this point a mention should be made of using the medical syringes. Several types of syringe were experimented with and it was found that for injecting adhesive into the holes into the side of the carriages a "BD Micro-Fine + Demi 0.3 ml with a 0.30 mm needle. Barcode: - 03829048260172. Made in U.S.A." was best.

The reason why this was the better syringe is that the needle could easily be removed with a pair of pliers so the adhesive could be filled from the needle end. The LOCTITE 60 sec. nozzle was placed at the needle end of the syringe and as the adhesive was squeezed from the tube, the syringe plunger was drawn out so drawing the adhesive into the syringe cylinder as shown in Figure AB15. As only a small amount of adhesive is required approximately 0.1 ml was drawn into the syringe; it was found that with the plunger only slightly drawn out better control of the syringe was achieved.

Note: - It was found that folding a piece of clear sticky tape over the end of the needle was the easiest way to prevent the adhesive from going 'off'.

The syringe is filled with adhesive
Fig AB15: The syringe is filled with adhesive

The carriage eyes and ring bolts were made a little longer than the thickness of the side of the carriage. They will need to be reduced in length; a piece of wood the same thickness as the carriage side had a 0.5 mm hole drilled through it. The eyes and bolts were then placed into the hole and a pair of nail clippers was used to remove the excess as shown in Figure AB16

Excess wire removed from carriage eyes and ring bolts
Fig AB16: Excess wire removed from carriage eyes and ring bolts

After the carriage eyes and breeching ring bolts have been fitted, they are allowed 24 hours for the adhesive to achieve its full strength. The nylon beading threads are then fixed into the trucks with superglue.

The carriages are checked to ensure that they all fit correctly into position (Figure AB17 ).

Note: - At this stage, do not fix them into position with adhesive.

It was found that inserting the nylon threads on the rear trucks first and then fitting the front ones next was easier as shown in Figure AB17 . Also making one of the nylon threads longer and the other shorter on the rear trucks and the same for the front trucks makes putting the threads into the holes easier; tweezers are also used to position the threads.

The rear nylon threads are inserted first
Fig AB17: The rear nylon threads are inserted first

It is also worth to loosely assemble a carriage, barrel, cap square and pins as shown in Figure AB18 to check that everything does assemble correctly. This author found that the cap square pins may need to have their ends pointed so the ones nearer the bulkhead are easier to insert. Whilst the barrels do currently pivot on the trunnions, it should be noted that when the carriages are rigged this will not happen.

- The port side's No. 4 cannon is loosely assembled into position
Fig AB18: - The port side's No. 4 cannon is loosely assembled into position

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Lloyd Matthews – November 2016 ©


 

#5 Making the cannon carriages from the laser


cut Walnut

Identify the carriage parts on the Walnut sheet as shown in Figure AC1

Fig AC1: Parts for the 'Laser Cut Carriage'
Fig AC1: Parts for the 'Laser Cut Carriage'

It was found from experience that parts 300 and 301 were very easy to break when assembling the carriages; with care it was possible to complete this process with parts 300/301 not breaking, however a small amount of super glue could be spread with a pin as indicated in Figure AC1 ; this was soaked up by the wood thus strengthening this part of the component.

The upgrade instructions indicate that a 1.0 mm brass wire should be used through parts 299, however it was found that a 0.8 mm wire was more suitable. Ensure that part 301 is identified as being placed at the rear of the carriage, where it is wider. Remove any rough edges from the components as a result of cutting from the Walnut sheet (Figure AC2)

Fig AC2: Remove rough edges from components
Fig AC2: Remove rough edges from components

If carriage eyes, breeching rope ring bolts or keys to hold the trucks (wheels) on the axles are fitted; they should now be drilled. For the axles keys 0.45 brass rod will be used and the holes are drilled using a 76 wire gauge drill. The carriage eyes and breeching rope ring bolts may be purchased or made as described in the 'Carriage Eye and Breeching Rope Ring Bolts' section. For these a 0.5 mm hole will be drilled as shown in Figure AC3.

Fig AC3: Holes drilled in parts 299, 300 and 301
Fig AC3: Holes drilled in parts 299, 300 and 301

The carriage is assembled with the 0.8 mm brass rod holding parts 299 together (Figure AC4 ). During this process a pin is used to apply adhesive to part 300 and this is placed into parts 299, and then the same is repeated for part 300. Ensure that the cannon barrel sits squarely in the carriage, before the assembly glue dries. Super glue is applied to the inside surface of the rod and wood so it soaks into the edge of the two holes.

Fig AC4: The carriage is assembled
Fig AC4: The carriage is assembled

To fit the trucks (wheels), the ends of parts 300 & 301 have their corners removed with a needle file until each of the trucks fit onto the axles. When the trucks were fitted it was found that the rear axle was almost level with the deck. The bottom of the carriage was rubbed over a sheet of P800 abrasive paper and the difference can be seen in Figure AC5 ; please note, two different photographs of the same carriage were taken. Reference was made to the carriage heights on H.M.S. Victory.

Fig AC5: Base of carriage is rubbed over abrasive paper to increase the axle height
Fig AC5: Base of carriage is rubbed over abrasive paper to increase the axle height

The keys for the axles are made from 0.45 mm brass rod; each key is approximately 3 mm long. One end of the rod is squeezed partially flat with a pair of round nosed pliers and then cut to a 3 mm length. Rather than using a black paint, a permanent black marker pen is used to colour the keys; the completed result is shown in Figure AC6.

Fig AC6: Axle keys
Fig AC6: Axle keys

The cap squares for the trunnions were taken from the cast carriage assembly, AMATI art no. 4162. They are a little small to fit over the barrel trunnions and will need to be filed out as shown in Figure AC7 . Once both have been filed to fit the barrel trunnions they are painted with black acrylic paint. The quoin is shaped so it is wedged with a notch at the end (Figure AC7 ) and together with the carriage and trucks they are painted with red ochre acrylic as shown in Figure AC8.

Fig AC7: Cap square and quoin
Fig AC7: Cap square and quoin

The axle keys are inserted into the axle with a pair of self closing tweezers. A spot of LOCTITE 60 sec. all-purpose glue is applied to the top of the hole with a pin as shown in Figure AC8.

Fig AC8: The axles keys are inserted into the axles
Fig AC8: The axles keys are inserted into the axles

The carriage eye bolts on both the sides, rear and forward ends of the carriage, and the breeching rope ring bolts are cut to the correct length following the method explained in 'Painting the Cast Cannons & Fitting Preparations' - Figure AB16.

The method of using a surgical syringe to fix the eye and ring bolts in the carriage is explained in 'Permanent method of fixing carriages to deck' at # 3 PermanentMethodofFixingCarriagestoDeck in Figure Z13.  These together with the quoin, cap squares and cannon barrel, which has also been sprayed black, are assembled onto the carriage using the LOCTITE 60 sec. all-purpose glue (Figure AC9 ). Black acrylic paint is applied to the outside edge of the bottom and top of the axle keys; this will make them a little more realistic.

Fig AC9: Cannon assembly
Fig AC9: Cannon assembly

Lloyd Matthews - November 2016 ©

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Here you will find details on Airbrush Painting for H.M.S. Fly