Having finished the model, some thoughts on the JoTiKa/Caldercraft kit of HMS Snake. Quality: The laser cutting is good and there is sufficient quantity of wood/blocks/fittings to finish the model. The cannon castings (white metal) were a mess but were replaced by JoTiKa swiftly (see earlier posts) and with no quibble. Anyone buying this kit should check that it comes with brass cannon and not the white metal ones. Cordage: Good and wound on tubes, so no kinks. I did change some of the rigging to be more in keeping with the period but, even if I had not done this, I do wonder if there is enough of the thinner threads (0.5 and 0.25) to rig as per the instructions. Clarity of plans and instructions: Some head scratching was involved because it is so very different to building plastic kits. However, this is my first build so if I can do it anyone should be able to. Value for money: Not a cheap kit compared to others, but I firmly believe that you get what you pay for in life and when I look at some of the problems other builders seem to encounter I have had nothing like that. Would I buy another JoTiKa/Caldercraft kit?: Yes, most certainly.
Thanks for following and regards.
Hi Graham, I have enjoyed your log and followed it every step. I saw a sorry looking "model" in Johannesburg (South Africa) in 2015 and posted some photos in the Coffee section.
I supposed it is too early to ask if you have another ship in mind?
Hi Eric. Thanks for following my log and I hope you enjoyed the ride, your comments have been welcome. I looked up those pics you took in SA; a sad case indeed and in need of more than just TLC - hope you are not comparing that to my own build! Yes, the next build is already decided and a start made - see the log for Panart Armed Pinnace. Regards.
Time to build the case. I wasn't sure where to post this as it isn't strictly part of the ship build, but I thought I would share the experience with you.
I bought the 5mm acrylic from a UK company called plasticsheets.com. I did consider buying the sheets and cutting it myself, but -
a. I would have had to buy a different blade for my table saw because you need a special one for cutting acrylic sheet.
b. I would have had to buy a router to get the edges smooth after saw cutting, and
c. Something would have inevitably got scratched during the cutting process.
So after some careful measuring of the ship I ordered the pre-cut sheets and paid a couple of pounds per sheet for polished edges (see later) - total cost was £115. When the sheets arrived they were well packed, the box wrapped in yards of bubble wrap, sheets unmarked, well cut and the edge finish was good.
I started by building it upside down and firstly taped the edges of the three sides -
Time to glue it. I did quite a lot of reading on what to use and quickly ruled out mastic (messy and too long to dry) and CA glue (causes hazing of the acrylic) There is a good vid on Youtube which recommends this -
but they were only building small cases nowhere near the size of mine, but I need not have worried. This stuff has lots of warnings on use health-wise but I don't think it is any worse than, say, cellulose thinners. That said, proper precautions should be followed. I got it on Amazon for £22, £8 of which is shipping, I guess because it is hazardous? I also could not get less than a pint, so I suppose it will keep me going for quite a while yet. The adhesive is water thin and is applied with a syringe and fine needle and then travels into the joint by capillary action - hence the need for very well finished edges. It does not so much glue the mating faces as melt them and results in a very strong bond. I gave it a couple of hours to dry and then taped on the last side and laid it down to help the adhesive run into the mating edges better -
Then stand it the proper way up -
- and after an hour remove the masking tape - I like to get masking off as soon a possible as it has a habit of sticking really fast and leaving traces if left on too long.
I'm quite pleased with the end result which gives me the look I wanted and it is as solid as a rock. The finished case is (in centimeters) 90 wide x 64 high x 39 deep and it cost me £115 for the acrylic + £22 for the adhesive (I only used a fraction of it) + £7 for syringes/needles (I only used one of each) - that is a lot better than the £1,100 I was quoted for one the same size with a base.
If you are thinking of making your own case then give it a go - it is a lot easier than you may think!
Still pondering the base finish - stained wood? coloured? something else? We'll get there soon. Regards.