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  #1  
Old 11-19-2020, 10:27 AM
mdesaxe mdesaxe is offline
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SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale

My latest project is a model of the Royal Prussian Navy’s ironclad ram Prinz Adalbert. This warship was laid down at Bordeaux by Arman Frères as one of a pair named Cheops and Sphinx, supposedly for the Egyptian government but, in reality, for the Confederate States of America. When the French government discovered the ruse, it insisted that the two ships should be sold to established governments. Sphinx was sold to Denmark and Cheops to Prussia at a moment when both nations were on the verge of going to war over Schleswig-Holstein. The war ended quickly, so Denmark declined Sphinx and sold it back to the Confederacy, which commissioned the ram as CSS Stonewall. Stonewall went to sea but conducted no operations before the Civil War ended. The ironclad was seized by the United States government, which in turn sold it to Japan.

The Kingdom of Prussia commissioned Cheops as SMS Prinz Adalbert at the end of 1865, too late for the war with Denmark, and the ship took part in no operations during either of the subsequent wars with Austria-Hungary or with France. It was only operational until 1871 because, like quite a few of the ships built abroad for the Confederacy, it was high in price but low in quality of materials, so it was scrapped in 1878.

I am building this model from the Heinkel Models paper kit for CSS Stonewall that I purchased and downloaded. This is to 1:200 scale and my models are to 1:250 scale, so I have printed the supplied pdf pages at 80% to reduce them. I also used my printer settings to manipulate the colours to achieve an almost black hull and a more realistic shade (to my eyes) for the decks. This project is likely to take some time to complete because Prinz Adalbert had a full brig rig as commissioned and there will be large amounts of rigging. I have not built fully rigged vessels for a while so I will need to retrain my brain, my hands, and my eyes in the techniques required for this.

So far I have assembled the basic framework. It looks like it will be an interesting challenge to shape the hull sides at the lower stern and upper bow where there is much convexity.

The image of Prinz Adalbert is a detail from an illustration in my copy of Das Buch von der Deutschen Flotte (Leipzig, 1884).


Maurice
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SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-1.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-2.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-3.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-sms_prinz_adalbert-2-.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2020, 10:57 AM
Michael Mash's Avatar
Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Looking forward to your work.
The photos show it is off to a good start.
Mike
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:15 PM
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Joe711 Joe711 is offline
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Exciting topic, I really like this age.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:07 AM
mdesaxe mdesaxe is offline
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SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale

As soon as I had assembled the framework I realised that I had not allowed for the fact that this ship model was going to be rigged as a sailing vessel. I had not opened holes in the deck for the masts, so I had to use a drill to make them at the correct angle (using a guide piece whose rake was taken from the sail plan). Drilling card or paper is not a good idea because the holes invariably are not clean circles, so I will have to make some cosmetic repairs to the deck.

In order to provide proper support for the masts when they are installed I inserted thick card doublers on either side of the model’s central spine to make sure the masts would not move when I was adding the rigging. I also cut away some of the framing in the bow immediately under the fo’c’sle to accommodate the forward firing gun fitted there. In retrospect, it would have been much easier to do all this before fitting the decks.

I now could add the hull side plates. Test fitting the provided parts revealed that they were very slightly too long, which actually was advantageous. I decided to divide each of the provided single hull side pieces in two, fit them starting at each extremity, and adjust the lengths approximately amidships for a tight fit.

Despite my initial concerns, I found that shaping the different curvatures at the bow was simply a matter of using my fingers to manipulate the card into the proper form.

The counter stern was another matter. The designer set up the shape for the side plating in a petal form. The basic concept was that the builder would join the edges of the petals and the result would be a proper form for the stern. The reality was much more complicated.

For a start, the shape to be made was not a series of flat planes but a continuous curve. This was relatively easy to form by using an appropriate tool (the end of a paintbrush handle in this instance) to press the requisite curvature into the paper by rubbing the tool over the card on top of a resilient pad of paper towels. The real complication was joining the edges; the card is only about 0.015mm thick, which is a very marginal joining surface. Fortunately, I have done this before, so I knew a good solution. One cannot simply add tabs or something like that because the tolerances are too small. What I did was to use joining strips of tracing paper (which has effectively negligible thickness) to reinforce the juncture of the petals. I should point out that it is critical to apply the glue to the card, not the tracing paper, and give each connection time to dry before moving on to the next. The final parts of the process were to again use the end of the paintbrush handle to refine the inside of the finished piece and to burnish the exterior over an appropriate former (the end of one of my wife’s wooden cooking spoons, on this occasion).

As planned, I fitted the sides starting at the extremities to make sure they fitted well and adjusted their conjunction amidships—a simple process because the sides are virtually flat there. I should indicate that the finished model will look tidier than this—I will use a fine pointed watercolour brush pen of a suitable shade to eliminate the starkness of the joints and I may well try out an idea a fellow paper model maker has suggested of coating the counter with acrylic floor polish (to stiffen it) and then very lightly sanding over the edges to smooth them (I would eliminate the glossy finish later because I always give my paper models a final coat of lacquer flat varnish to preserve them from both moisture and the detrimental effects of sunlight).
Attached Thumbnails
SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-7.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-4.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-6.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-8.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-9.jpg  

SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-12.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-10.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-11.jpg  
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:48 AM
mdesaxe mdesaxe is offline
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SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale

I find it interesting that warships of this era quite often exhibited a combination of old and new features. Prinz Adalbert is a good example. The ship has steam power, twin screws and rudders, a ram, just a few heavy guns, and armour. It also has a full brig rig and the high thick bulwarks characteristic of sailing warships just a few years earlier.

The kit as published by Heinkel Models does not portray the thick bulwarks. Correcting this was simple—I added thick card inside the bulwarks to move the supplied inner faces inboard. You may notice that the thick bulwarks do not run the full length of the ship’s waist. The two thin sections visible on each side are the sheet iron sections that could drop down outboard so that the guns in the fixed turret could fire on the broadside.

The bulwarks feature another holdover from sailing warships. The upper part of the entire section from the fo’c’sle to the entry port on each side was configured for hammock stowage. I have added the outer face and will fit stowed hammocks later using Evergreen corrugated siding material as I did for my model of the Russian monitor Uragan.
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SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-13.jpg  
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:49 AM
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Pirlouit95 Pirlouit95 is offline
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Good evening Maurice. I am new to the world of paper models. But I will follow your work to learn some things.
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Old Today, 03:18 PM
mdesaxe mdesaxe is offline
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SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale

I really appreciate the interest in this project.

I have made further progress. First, I finished detailing the hull exterior by adding a ‘rub rail’ around the deck edges of the fo’c’sle and poop, making up the hawse holes and their stoppers (I still have to add the lanyards that controlled these but that will happen much closer to the completion of the model), making and attaching the two forward gunport lids on each side, and fitting the rather prominent down pipes for the heads. The extreme bow gunport did not have a lid so it always was open to the elements.

I then added the stowed hammocks along the tops of the bulwarks, using Evergreen’s 1mm pitch metal siding material. I first used a small v-file to continue the corrugations over the edge and a little way onto the back of the material. Then I cut a 1mm wide strip, cleaned up any roughness, and painted it a medium tan colour. Once the paint was dry, I drybrushed the strip with a lighter tan colour, then glued appropriate lengths along the top of the bulwarks to represent the stowed hammocks.

After that I started making up and adding the deck furniture. Most of the larger features are now in place, including the scratch built pipes leading to the chain locker and the anchor chain cables themselves (from model railway chain). I also added all the coaling scuttles from punched card pieces.

Maurice
Attached Thumbnails
SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-20.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-21.jpg   SMS Prinz Adalbert, 1865 - 1:250 scale-prinz-22.jpg  
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Old Today, 03:34 PM
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Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Very nice work Maurice.
The artwork depicting the plates in the hull is well done.
Mike
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