Tagged: kit

The Cutty Sark

With the Viper and Galactica models I’ve shown, it might be easy to assume that Karl’s Shipyard (TM) only builds space craft. Not so. I also build historical models.

The Cutty Sark was a 19th century tea clipper, one of the fastest there was. She needed to be fast in order to get tea back from India to the UK before anyone else in order to maximise her profits. She’s no longer afloat, but rests in permanent dry-dock in Greenwich, London.

This is the Cutty Sark kit produced by Airfix. Took about a year to build, but I wasn’t constantly working on her and there were long periods during which I did no work on her at all. The rigging took approximately 30 hours (I know this because I watched two whole series of Babylon 5 while I was doing it!), and I decided to leave the sails off, as the ones provided in the kit were made of cheap, horrible plastic and would have spoiled the look.

I tried to paint her as accurately as I could, but I took some artistic license on the deck and cabins. The wood effect on the deck was achieved with a flat brush and a number of different inks, and then a gloss varnish was applied over the top. The rigging ropes were soaked in tea overnight in order to give them an aged look (the rigging thread provided was bright white).

Feel free to comment.

Work in progress showing the ship prior to rigging:
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My messy work area in my old house:
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The first shrouds I made. They were made using the Airfix “rigging machine”, which allows you to lay out the thread in position and then glue it at the joins. Then once it’s dry it can be cut out and attached to the ship:
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The top shrouds in place:
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Rigging halfway complete. I’m watching B5 on my computer as I work.
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The finished ship:
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So say we all

I like to spend my time in a number of ways. One of which is modelling. And by that I don’t mean posing for glossy magazines, as nobody needs to see that. I mean building and painting models. Sometimes they’re models of actual things which exist (such as, for instance, the Cutty Sark), sometimes they are miniature soldiers (either historical, fantasy or sci-fi), and sometimes they are space ships.

Here is one such ship which I built and painted a couple of years back. It’s a Viper Mk. II from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series (which is one of if not the greatest sci fi TV show ever). Specifically it’s Kara “Starbuck” Thrace’s Viper.

For those of you who have never seen the show, Starbuck is an ace fighter pilot. She’s foul mouthed, smokes stoagies and can hold her own in a fight… and she has a penchant for bending the rules to effect a better outcome. She’s a superb character.

As you can imagine, Kara’s ship gets into a number of close shaves, and I have attempted to show this in the weathered paint work, showing areas where the ship has been hit with glancing shots from Cylon Raiders. Also, in the show, the Mk. II Vipers are relics from a war which happened forty or so years ago, and so I have given the paintwork a dull sheen, with peeling around the engine intake and on the wings.

This is all hand painted, I can’t afford an airbrush. For the weathering I used a flat brush and ink, gradually building up and drawing out the streaks from the gaps in the panelling (individually in some cases). Took me a long time to get the weathering to the point where I was happy with it.

Let me know what you think!

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