Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

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donlong
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Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby donlong » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Hello to all,
By way of an introduction, my name is Don Long. I live in Mesa, Arizona. Donnie has been after me since March to start a build log for my Santisima Trinidad by OcCre. I have been hesitant to do so for several reasons. First, I didn’t think I would have that much to offer. Second, I had major surgery to one of my lungs recently and have not gotten fully up to speed yet. Third, I wanted to get my work shop finished so I would have a decent place to build the ST. Finally, I have been doing a ton of research on the ST which has taken most of my time.

I have wanted to build a wooden model warship since I was 7. I am 66 now and finally am living the dream. I am fascinated by this ship. I have looked at many build logs, especially Donnie’s. My goal is to build the ST as she appeared last, at the Battle of Trafalgar (actually just before the battle started). That means proper colors, full sails, etc. The Spanish Naval Ministry Regulation of 1772 stated the hull was to be black with yellow bands. During my research, I found a documented account by midshipman William Badcock. Badcock was aboard the HMS Neptune when the Spanish and French ships began to develop their line the day of the battle. He was noted to say:

“At this point the enemy were forming their double line in the shape of a crescent. It was a beautiful sight when their line was completed: their broadsides turned towards us showing their iron teeth, and now and then trying the range of a shot to ascertain the distance, that they might, the moment we came within point-blank open their fire upon our van ships – no doubt with the hope of dismasting some of our leading vessels before they could close and break their line.

Some of the enemy’s ships were painted like ourselves – with double yellow sides, some with a broad single red or yellow streak, others all black, and the noble Santisima Trinidad with four distinct lines of red, with a white ribbon between them, made her seem to be a superb man-of-war… She was lying under topsails, top-gallant sails, royals, jibs, and spanker; her courses were hauled up, and her lofty, towering sails looked beautiful, peering through the smoke as she awaited the onset. The flags of France and Spain both handsome, chequered the line, waving defiance to that of Britain.”


It’s not often you hear such praise coming from someone about their enemy. At any rate, I found a drawing of the ST that seems to coincide with the midshipman’s statement.


Santisima Trinidad 1.jpg
Santisima Trinidad 1.jpg (104.73 KiB) Viewed 6232 times


At the present time, I have the skeleton built and the lower deck glued in. I need to varnish it and do some painting before I glue in the main deck.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to finally start this project. I look forward to sharing my successes and failures with you. Hopefully some of the information will be useful to others.
Current Build: Santisima Trinidad
Next in Line: HMS Victory
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catopower
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby catopower » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:29 pm

Hi Don,

Welcome!

I'm glad to see you starting a build log on your Santisima Trinidad. Don't worry about what you have to offer. No matter what you do, people will get something from following your build. And already you've shared a nice bit of research work on the color scheme. She must have been quite a sight on the sea.

Have you built other ship models? This should be quite a challenge. Hope you recover quickly from your surgery!

I'll be looking forward to seeing your posts.

Clare
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donlong
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby donlong » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:04 pm

Clare,
Thanks for your comments. I have an electrical/mechanical engineering background. I have always been handy with my hands and solving problems. As a kid, I built a ton of models but all plastic. This is my first wooden model. I am fortunate in that I can visualize the finished ship. My issue is how to make these little scraps of wood in the kit look like that?

Look at the picture I found and then imagine something like that, almost the size of a football field, coming at you. I can see why Badcock was impressed even though what was coming at him wanted to destroy him. I personally like the history tied to the build. It gives it an added dimension.

The surgery was intense. Sometimes I feel it will never heal. The problem was having to separate part of my ribs to get to the lung. I feel like I have been hit by a truck... a BIG truck. The pain is not as bad as it was. My breathing is about as good as it is going to be (95%) and I don’t feel as useless as I did for the first few months.

I have found, already, building this or any wooden ship has its monotonous moments. Planking, treenails and even the research can cause you to look inward and wonder: Why did I want to do this? But I find it gentles me. Takes my mind off things like ribs, lungs and the pain. I am finishing up the lower deck. When that is done, I will take some pictures and explain what I did and why I did it.

Thanks again.

Current Build: Santisima Trinidad
Next in Line: HMS Victory
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Donnie
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby Donnie » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:11 am

Don,
such a good post. Wow, you really have done your homework. I am excited to see how this is going to turn out. I am sure without a doubt that it will be fantastic. (know you like I do).

All the folks here at SOS are fine people, eager to help.

Donnie
Current Build Prep: Panart San Felipe 1:75
Completed Build: Santisima Trinidad

Main SOS Site: Ships of Scale Website

No Guts, No Glory !
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donlong
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby donlong » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:23 pm

Donnie,

Thanks for your vote of confidence. I will certainly give it my best.
Any comments from the SOS folks will be greatly appreciated. I have done a year of research and reviewed many of the build logs and the plans. I do have a plan of attack and will report as I go.

Don
Current Build: Santisima Trinidad
Next in Line: HMS Victory
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donlong
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Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby donlong » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:49 am

Hello mates!
I told you I would share my failures and successes. In this case, this one was a failure I turned into a success. The problem I encountered was the crossbeams that pass through nine of the frames. I could not get the beams to pass through all of the frames once they were glued in place. Not sure why this happened. Perhaps it was my lack of experience that caused the problem BUT I did dry fit and mark everything. Then I glued and trued each frame again to make sure. I also made sure the false keel was straight and well secured.

I ended up having to wet the middle frames until they were loose. At that point, I slid the crossbeams through the frames. Once I got the beams in place, I glued the frames in place again. In hindsight, I should have passed the crossbeams through each frame as they (the frames) were glued to the false keel.

The planking of the lower deck presented several interesting challenges. I don’t know how the planking strips come in other kits but the ones in this kit were buggered up on the edges. The edges were not square or had saw marks or gouges in the strip. Another issue was the caulking between the planking. During my research, there seemed to be as many ways to represent the caulking as there were strips. The same held true with the treenails. “Oh what to do… Oh what to do…”

Well this is what I did. I went to my handy hardware store and picked up two 1”x36”x1/16” aluminum strips. I clamp them to the work bench using two Quik-Grips. I spaced them apart so a plank, standing on the long edge, would fit in the gap. See the picture below.

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Most of the strips I had were just a little greater than 3mm wide. Using an old X-Acto sanding block, I lightly sanded both edges the length of the strip. Obviously, care must be taken not to sand too much. Next, I took a piece of pencil lead (HB or B) and blacked the entire edge the length of the strip. I did this to both sides. The lead is the type used in a drafting pencil. It is about a 1/16th of an inch in diameter. This process corrected the edge roughness and the caulking between the planks. The benefit to this is when you sand the planks; the caulk line is still there.

Next, was the plank shifting. I used Donnie’s method of cutting across a plank to signify a plank joint. Then I darkened it with a .3mm, B lead, mechanical pencil. This is a little hard to see here but looking at plan #3 from the “Instituto De Historia Y Cultura Naval – 1983”, it shows very specifically that the planks line up on the fourth plank from the first. These drawings are easy to find on the net if you want a closer look.

Here part of the drawing blown up for you.
J-1.jpg
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I made the assumption, most of the drawings from this time period, did not show all the details. One assumption was they did not draw in every plank seam. The drawings only show what was generally required. It was left up to the builders to implement it and make it work. The 60-40-20 shifting scheme seemed to work for this. Right or wrong, I shifted my seam marks based on 20% of the length from the first plank seam, then 40 % from the first plank and then 60% from the first plank. My planks seam marks were based on a 25’ plank. Below is what I ended up with.
DSC00013-1.JPG
DSC00013-1.JPG (86.29 KiB) Viewed 6190 times

Next, the treenails. I tried five or six ways to make them. I finally decided to punch a hole using the small hand press from Mircomark and a pick or probe that was about .2mm in diameter; about 1/16” up from the tip. I used a small hose clamp to limit the travel of the punch to about 1/16”. After I punched the four holes around the seam, I used a .3mm, B lead, mechanical pencil to darken the holes.

I did not want the treenails to be jet black. I also wanted the general appearance of the deck to look somewhat weathered. This is what I did to get it. I sanded the deck to get rid of the fuzzies. I used a nail file sanding stick. This one was pink, had about 1/8” of foam between the two filing sides and had a super fine grit on both sides. It is about 6” long and maybe ¾” wide. They are cheap and flexible. By sanding the deck, the treenail holes filled up with a very fine wood dust. The black lead between the planks tended to embed itself somewhat in the wood grain during sanding, giving a used look. Then I sealed it. The wood still raised some additional fibers. I allowed the sealer to dry hard and then sanded it again to remove the rest of the fuzzies and deposit more dust in the treenail holes. After a second coat of sealer… voila, a weathered deck. I used a ‘matte finish polyurethane’ to seal the deck during this process. The picture below shows the results.

DSC00016-1.JPG
DSC00016-1.JPG (67.04 KiB) Viewed 6190 times

I am pleased with the results as it was what I wanted the deck surface to look like. The treenails look like wood with a black ring around them that could be interrupted as tar. The planks have a used look about them but not severely weathered. I am working on the main deck now using the same process.

I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination but hopefully the pictures I have will give you an idea of what I am talking about. If not let me know and I will take some more.

Good day!!
Last edited by donlong on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current Build: Santisima Trinidad
Next in Line: HMS Victory
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Donnie
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby Donnie » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:48 pm

All I can say is fantastic Don. Excellent documentation too.

Donnie
Current Build Prep: Panart San Felipe 1:75
Completed Build: Santisima Trinidad

Main SOS Site: Ships of Scale Website

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donlong
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Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby donlong » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:39 pm

It’s me again.

I was thinking about the deck surface for the ship. I explained how I did the seams and the treenails but I really didn’t explain the preserving of the deck. I wanted a dull, clear surface on my decks. I tried a satin but did not like it. It was too shinny and showed brush marks. What I ended up using was Rust-oleum Ultimate Polyurethane, a clear, matte finish. This product can be cleaned up with soap and water. I found due to the dryness of the wood (remember I live in Arizona where the relative humidity is usually under 10%) a water based sealer worked better than an oil or resin based one.

This is what I did. You will need to be near an overhead light (ceiling light is fine) that will shine on the deck. Make sure the deck has been sanded and is clean and free of lint, etc. For the ST, I used a 3/8” angle brush #44277 made by Plaid. You can use any manufacturer of the brush but an angle brush allows you to get right up to the edges. I also found the 3/8” worked well because you will need to work the sealer into the wood. These brushes really hold their shape well.

Dip your brush into the sealer. You really don’t want a lot of sealer on your brush. Start at one end of your deck and apply the sealer. This next step will take less than a minute to do. Try not to do more than a 1” x 3” section at a time. If all is right the overhead light should show you exactly where your sealer is. With quick, short strokes begin to smooth out the sealer, covering the entire surface in the 1” x 3” space. Brush with the grain. Continue brushing the area. As you are brushing the area, you will notice the sealer will begin to disappear. Continue to brush the sealer until there are no shinny spots shown by the light. You are now done with that section. The light is critical as it will show you every mark the brush makes. These can be smoothed out with lighter strokes. I actually used 3x magnification glasses when I did this. It allowed me to see better detail of the surface while I was sealing it.

Go to the next section, and do the same thing again. Make sure this section overlaps the one you just completed. You will find that you can blend the two sections together with no brush strokes showing and no evidence that they are two different sections.

Continue this process until the deck is done. Let it dry for several hours and then apply another cost using the same technique. Sand and clean it, if necessary, before applying the second coat. You can apply a third coat if you feel it needs it. You should end up with a beautiful, nature looking deck.

Let me say this is only one technique of sealing the deck but it is NOT the only way to do it. Depending on your experience and what you want the final finish to look like will determine your approach. I put this in for those scratching their heads wondering: How should I seal or finish the deck?

Good Day!
Current Build: Santisima Trinidad
Next in Line: HMS Victory
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby Anaga » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:52 pm

Hi Don,
I´m glad to see you overcome your health issues by keeping yourself busy with Santisima Trinidad. I like the technique you applied to the deck´s treenails. I do some thing similar but with a syringe needle. For preservation of the deck (and the rest of the hull) I´d like to use Teak Oil. The end result is this:
Image
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I´m planning to do Trinidad from scratch at 1/72 and I´ve done extensive research on her for the past 2 years so if you need some info just let me Know. I hope the following links will help you get started. Are you fluent in Spanish? if not you can ask me although I think the pictures are self explanatory:
http://modelismo-santisimatrinidad.blog ... chive.html
Also I see you want to do Santisima as it was in 1805 here is a link with her colors during the later part of the XVIII century:
http://www.todoababor.es/vida_barcos/perfiles-st.htm
The second link you probably Know but if you have time explore the web page because there is a lot useful information. The look of Santisima Trinidad in 1805 was more or less like the following model (It´s a huge 1/50 baby):
http://www.todoababor.es/maquetas/santi ... nidad3.htm
As you can see you would need to change the stern because OcCre´s model is based on the stern from the early 1790s. Lastly, this is the model at 1/90 I like the most. The author is Rafael Berenguer Moreno de Guerra which is also the author of the plans you attached on this thread:
Image
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The pictures were taken in 1973 so the quality is not so great. Many of the Spanish ship drawings you see in the net are his.
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donlong
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Re: Don's Santisima Trinidad by OcCre

Postby donlong » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:22 pm

Anaga,
Thank you so much for the information. At least I can see I was headed in the right direction as to the 1805 colors. The only problem I have had is who do you believe. I have the eye witness account by Midshipman Badcock stating there was a single white line between the red stripes and the Todo a Babor site shows two. I have seen paintings of it both ways also.

I was going to use Dutch oil on her at first but I think I read that the oils will dry out in time. As you know, I live in Arizona, so I though some type of varnish would be better. By the way, your 5 photos on your teak oil of the ship did not show up in the post.

I will be thrilled if I get the model built. Building one from scratch is out of my league. At least for now it is.

Is there documentation on the changes to the stern? To be honest with you, I am not that familiar with all the changes to her. I know about the deck and gun changes, the color changes but was not aware of the stern changes. I have a list of changes but have not gone through them all. It appears from the pictures, she had four guns back there and a boat. I will have to check into this. I would be interested to know why they would sling a boat off the back of her when they originally had them stacked in the middle.

I do not read or speak Spanish but have been able to translate most of what I have found using Microsoft Word. Some of it does not make sense but there are other sites that translate and I can generally figure it out. I do appriciate your offer and will keep you in mind as I move forward.

I remember some time back, there was a group called the Friends of the Santisima Trinidad (or something like that) that was building hugh ship. For whatever reason the site seems to be down or gone. There were a lot of details on that site as well as pictures.

Thank you again for the information.

Don
Current Build: Santisima Trinidad
Next in Line: HMS Victory

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