Captains Cabin Sea Chest

Great Cabin Chest (Scale 1:64)

It was thought that a Sea Chest would have been used for storing the Captains personal possessions and this is why it has been included. Eighteenth century sea chests were researched and one at -1stdibs was chosen, Figure AH1.

Figure AH1 – Sea Chest
Figure AH1 – Sea Chest

Dimensions = wide x deep x height
Inches = 44ins x 22ins x 28ins
Millimetres = 1117.6mm x 558.8mm x 711.2mm
1:64 scale = 17.46mm x 8.73mm x 11.11mm

NOTE: - the dimensions for the completed Sea Chest will vary according to how each modeller will construct it.

An end view of the Sea Chest is shown in Figure AH2.

Figure AH2 – End of Sea Chest
Figure AH2 – End of Sea Chest

The back of the Sea Chest is shown in Figure AH3.

Figure AH3 – Back of Sea Chest
Figure AH3 – Back of Sea Chest

To obtain the correct shape for the Sea Chest, it will be built up using 12 x 1.5mm thick x 10mm wide strip limewood; the 12 templates are shown in Figure AH4 and should be printed Scale 1:1.

Figure AH4 – 12 templates (print scale 1:1)
Figure AH4 – 12 templates (print scale 1:1)

As illustrated in Figure AH5, the templates are first stuck onto the strip wood using a diluted PVA adhesive – Step 1; they are then cut into 12 individual templates using a junior hacksaw – Step 2. These templates are then cut to the correct shape using a craft chisel blade held vertically upright, cutting around each template – Step 3. Once the templates have been cut, the paper template that had been adhered to each wooden template is removed. All that is required is a drop of water to soak into the paper and the paper template can be easily removed – Step 4.

Figure AH5 – The sequence for making the templates
Figure AH5 – The sequence for making the templates

The templates are glued together as shown in Figure AH6.

Figure AH6 – Individual templates are glued together to form the Sea Chest
Figure AH6 – Individual templates are glued together to form the Sea Chest

The twelve individual templates glued are shown in Figure AH7, which forms the base for the Sea Chest. The edges are sanded smooth and the finished base for the Sea Chest is Shown in Figure AH7.

Figure AH7 – Rough and sanded Sea Chest
Figure AH7 – Rough and sanded Sea Chest

The design of the Sea Chest as shown in Figure AH1will be printed best quality onto 80gsm plain copier paper.

Authors printer - Epson Stylus Office BX450 Plus, print setting: - plain papers, photo; cut out and glue to base of the Sea Chest (Figure AH7).

This author has used the images from Figure AH1, Figure AH2 and Figure AH3 and used Adobe Photoshop to create the images to be glued to Figure AH7.

The front, top and back of the Sea Chest is represented in Figure AH8, and the ends of the Sea Chest in Figure AH9.

1:1 printed size of Figure AH8– width 17.4mm, height 27.6mm.

1:1 printed size of Figure AH9– widest width 8mm, height 10.67mm.

The finished dimensions of Figure AH7 will obviously vary according to modeller.

 

Fig AH8 Front Top & Back of Chest
Figure AH8– Front, top and back of Sea Chest
(1:1 – width 17.4mm, height 27.6mm)

 

Figure AH9 – Ends of Sea Chest (1:1 – widest width 8mm, height 10.67mm)
Figure AH9 – Ends of Sea Chest (1:1 – widest width 8mm, height 10.67mm)

It must be stressed that the dimensions shown in Figure AH8 and Figure AH9 can be easily changed. For modellers who have used programs similar to Photoshop it is very easy to alter the image dimensions, but those who have not, then Microsoft Word can be used, with the following notes as guidance.

Cut and paste either Figure AH8 or Figure AH9 into a word document as shown in Figure AH10; ensure that ‘Picture Format’ is clicked.

Figure AH10 – Image ‘cut and pasted’ into a Word document
Figure AH10 – Image ‘cut and pasted’ into a Word document

The centre right side of the Sea Chest image is clicked, and the width can be adjusted as illustrated in Figure AH11.

Figure AH11
Figure AH11.

 

Clicking on the top of the Sea Chest image the height can be adjusted as illustrated in Figure AH12.

The same process can be carried out with Figure AH9.

Note: - It must be stressed this is a process of trial and error to achieve the correct sized image for gluing to Figure AH7. Do not be afraid of making a mistake as the printed image is quite easy to remove. The adhesive used is ‘EVO-STICK WOOD adhesive, Resin W’. This is a water-soluble adhesive therefore any paper fixed to the wood is very easy to soak off as illustrated in Figure AH13.

Figure AH13 – Removing an image from the base of Sea Chest
Figure AH13 – Removing an image from the base of Sea Chest

An eye brow makeup brush is very stiff, and when wet, the glued image on the base of the Sea Chest can be ‘worked’ off.

A toothpick was temporarily fitted into the base of Sea Chest, and this will make it easier when gluing the image to the base. The drilling of the hole and the fitted toothpick is illustrated in Figure AH14; note the toothpick is NOT glued into the base!

Figure AH14
Figure AH14

After the two images are cut out, permanent black marker is applied around their edges as illustrated in Figure AH15. This prevents any white edges appearing at the Sea Chest ends.

Figure AH15 – Permanent black marker applied around the edge of images
Figure AH15 – Permanent black marker applied around the edge of images

When cutting out the image for the front, top and back of the Sea Chest, approximately 2.5mm plain paper strip is left at the bottom of the image and this is lightly scored with a craft knife. This strip then folds cleanly along the bottom of the image. 5mm TAMIYA masking tape is cut to size and applied to the white strip as illustrated in Figure AH16.

Figure AH16 – TAMIYA masking tape applied to the bottom of image
Figure AH16 – TAMIYA masking tape applied to the bottom of image.

Note: - This author finds TAMIYA masking tape is very good, but any modelling masking tape could be used.

The 2.5mm white strip on the image is positioned on the base of the Sea Chest, ensuring approximately 0.1mm of the image is overhanging either end of the Sea Chest, after which the toothpick is inserted into the hole in the Sea Chest base as illustrated in Figure AH17. During this process the size of the image will need to be adjust so it will fit in exactly the position on the Sea Chest base, as illustrated in Figure AH10, Figure AH11 and Figure AH12.

Note: - There is a lack of continuity in Figure AH17, as a black edge is shown on some of the images and others there is not.

Figure AH17 – The process of fitting the image onto the base of the Sea Chest
Figure AH17 – The process of fitting the image onto the base of the Sea Chest

This author experimented with various adhesives and found that neat ‘EVOSTIK’ was best, but this has to be a personal choice. Figure AH8 illustrates EVOSTICK applied to Sea Chest base, and image folded around base ensuring approximately 0.1mm image overhang is at each end.

Figure AH18 – EVOSTIK is painted to the base of the Sea Chest
Figure AH18 – EVOSTIK is painted to the base of the Sea Chest

The EVOSTIK is allowed to dry for at least 12 hours to ensure the image is fully bonded onto the wooden base. The toothpick is pulled from the base of the Sea Chest and using a craft knife the white strip is carefully removed, Figure AH19.

Figure AH19 – White strip removed from base of Sea Chest
Figure AH19 – White strip removed from base of Sea Chest

The same process is used to fix the end images of the Sea Chest, as illustrated in Figure AH20. Again, refer to Figure AH10, Figure AH11 and Figure AH12 to ensure that the image is the correct size.

Figure AH20 – End image is applied to the Sea Chest base
Figure AH20 – End image is applied to the Sea Chest base

The completed Sea Chest is shown in Figure AH21; note, there is a small discrepancy between the target dimensions (17.46mm x 8.73mm x 11.11mm) and the actual dimensions.

Figure AH21 – Completed Sea Chest showing actual dimensions
Figure AH21 – Completed Sea Chest showing actual dimensions

During the 16th century, varnishes were used regularly and in 1773, Watin’s book on coatings gave formulations that are similar to those used today. Here is a brief history if your interested.

For this reason, a Flat Matt Varnish was applied to the Sea Chest; this author was making a second Sea Chest; this was for testing the different techniques that could be used. The opportunity has been taken to see whether one or two coats of Flat Matt Varnish should be applied. As can be seen in Figure AH22, this author believes one coat produces the best finish, but again this is personal taste.

Figure AH22 – Comparison between one and two coats of Flat Matt Varnish
Figure AH22 – Comparison between one and two coats of Flat Matt Varnish

Figure AH23 shows the Sea Chest placed within the Captain’s cabin; this is for illustration purposes only, and it will be permanently fixed later in the build.

Figure AH23 – Sea Chest placed within the Captain’s cabin
Figure AH23 – Sea Chest placed within the Captain’s cabin

Lloyd Matthews - February 2019 ©

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