Building the Black Pearl

Phil Takes On Zvezda's 1:72nd "Black Pearl" From The P.O.T.C. Franchise.

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by bobjacon » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:00 pm

pstanfield wrote:Oh, I found yet another glaring error on the kit. The kit has two fife rails below the foremast, one port, one starboard, both being right next to the steps to the main deck. This is wrong. If you look up a screen capture from the 3rd movie there is a shot looking forward to the mainmast from the wheel. You can clearly see that there are no fife rails at all. The railing directly behind the Foremast has holes drilled all the way across and is being used for belaying rigging. It looks like I have some more mods to make. Not too difficult, but it adds to the list...
Phil,
If it is possible...can you post a pic reference of the fife rails in which you speak of? I've been watching this thread(s) of your build and I'm making notes of the "true to movie" look of the ship as I am waiting for my "Pearl" to arrive as a present for Christmas! If I can understand what you are talking about...I can also consider the change as well. So far, your work is very inspiring and I love all the mods you have made!
This will also be my first ship build...I'm more of a figure modeler so this will be a HUGE challenge for me!

BobJ
~ Bob J ~ "Expanding From Figures Kits to Building Ships"

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by pstanfield » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:01 pm

Okay, here is the rail I'm talking about as it comes on the kit. There is a fife rail port and starboard. It's an awkward placement if you ask me, but that's how it is with the kit. Obviously I'll be removing these and fashioning my own belaying pins from stretched sprue. I tossed around how I was going to do it and figured, at 1/72 scale, stretching sprue would be the best way to go. The kit belaying pins are molded rather comical.
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And here it is in the 3rd movie. If the kit were correct, then the rail should be right in front of where Barbosa is facing. Instead you can see that there are three belaying pins between each post of the railing.
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To me this seems a more logical placement and would minimize lines getting fouled. To me anyway.

BobJ, if you like, let me get a little free time and I'll try to PM you a full list of everything I have done and will be doing. I wasn't expecting it, but the list is getting extensive, with the bulkhead and stairs being the biggest job by far. The fife rails are the only real mod left for the deck/hull aside for the extra rigging I'll be adding/changing to the cannon. I'm also leaning toward rigging my own shrouds/ratlines and adding some extra rigging not called for in the instructions. BUT, I will be using the kit sails. I'm looking forward to the challenge of making them look good.

I've had a spell of absolutely no motivation so I've taken a break from the kit. I'll be hopping back into it tonight so hopefully I'll have something post soon.
Cheers,
Phil

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by bobjacon » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:03 am

Thanks Phil...a checklist would be great to use and track against. I have to admit, I wasn't sure of what you were talking about...ship rope talk and such. Google is a wonderful thing!

I searched for "fife rails" and I found a link that gives me an idea of what you were talking about and what they might be used for...very helpful to me. Your pics confirmed what I was thinking as well and the placement that you were referring to by the stairs on the kit.

http://www.tallshipstales.de/pins.html

You have a great eye for detail I must admit...I don't know that I would have picked up on that too quickly!

BobJ
~ Bob J ~ "Expanding From Figures Kits to Building Ships"

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by pstanfield » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:55 am

Well, with the holidays reaching peak, I find myself able to get back to the workbench. What has taken my attention you ask?
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My wife of course. During the holidays she is a baking fiend. Cookies everywhere...and I, of course, was the diligent helper....knowing I would be able to sneak away many "samples".

Back to the Pearl. I have decided to fully rig the cannon, and I will not be using the kit supplied plastic tackle. So first I had to make and set rings for each cannon.
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The rings are made from a fine wire I picked up from my local Hobby Lobby in the Jewelry making section. I just folded a small length over to create a "U" and then twisted the wire like a bread tie. This gave me complete control over how big the ring would end up being. Then I snip the end short enough to fit into the hole I drilled.

After I got the rings in, I set about deciding how to rig the cannon. I pulled blocks from my extras. Luckily I had a several dozen blocks left over from my Soleil Royale build. little on the large size, but they'll do just fine. I did a little carving on each block to make them a little easier to work with. Many on the forum will remember that Heller's blocks are not the easiest to work with.
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Next was using the small wire to make hooks for each block and tying them off. My old eyes
were hurting after setting up 40+ blocks.
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Setting the blocks aside I went about deciding what kind of thread/string to use for the cannon. The first test was normal rigging thread. It just doesn't work for me. It doesn't lay right. It just looks "toyish".
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Next I tried wire. I wound two pieces together, trying for a "rope" look. It's more controllable, but just doesn't look right. I was starting to get frustrated. I'm doing so much to this kit, more than I've ever done before, and these cannon were becoming a "builders-block"
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Then last night I remembered I had this wire stashed somewhere. I picked it up at WalMart's Floral section. It's a small diameter wire wrapped in thread. I found it in a drawer.
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So I cut off some string on the ends, creating built in hooks, trimmed it to length and tried it. Bingo!
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And it lays how I want it to.
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So next I dyed some lines with teabags in hot water, dried, and waxed the lines. Then I cut them to length, created a loop for the end of the cannon, and there you go. A perfect fit and it will lay beautifully. I'll also be able to lay the lines differently for each cannon, creating a look that is much more pleasing and interesting to the eye.
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Next will be figuring out rigging the tackle. Maurice, your article is going to prove quite valuable to me. I'm also setting about finishing up the hull and get it clear coated. Then comes the masts and "gulp" the sails, which will probably end up being the hardest part of this build. Once I get to this point, I'll start on the water base. Maurice, here again your experience in this area will be of great value to me.

More to come. I want to take this time to also wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope your year has been good and your holidays pleasant. Though I have never met any of you in person (I hope to someday), I call all of you my friend. Happy Holidays everyone. May Santa fill your port with many goodies.

Phil

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by drmcoy » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:56 am

Phil,

with all due respect, your build of this ship is wicked crazy NUTS!!

i am continually floored by the attention to detail you are putting into this build -- what a labor of love. i am in extreme envy mode. is it too late for me to apply for the position of your beloved daughter so I can have this ship when it is done? :)

thanks for posting the pics. i am plodding ahead slowly on mind...i think i have three of the little rig lines tied...only 400 to go.

have a swell holiday...look forward to your progress pics.

ted

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by dafi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:35 am

Nice and cute solution :-)

If possible, leave the breechline a tad longer, the guns should be able to move as much backk to te able to be loaded.

All the best, Daniel
Official "mad hatter" and "ϋber detailer supreme" of the board, appointed to the Royal order of the Lath and proud owner of a box of mad frogs :-)

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by Pete Coleman » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:08 pm

Agreed, very nicely done Phil!
Is it too late to make the ropes a little longer? otherwise they're fan-blooming-tastic.... x71x
Cheers,
Pete.
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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by pstanfield » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:04 pm

I had been debating the length of the lines. I can easily increase the length. Thanks for the catch guys.

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by bobjacon » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:27 pm

Phil,
Looks great so far...nice idea!

I have to question...you lost me a bit when you were talking about the blocks that you borrowed from another kit...what or how are they used?

Are you talking about the rope with blocks on the lines on the side of the cannon (lashing alongside) like shown in this sketch?

Image

Thanks,
BobJ
~ Bob J ~ "Expanding From Figures Kits to Building Ships"

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by pstanfield » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:25 am

That's pretty much it Bobj, except in the case of the Black Pearl, it won't be as neat.

I hope everyone had a very happy holiday. Lots of food and family here, along with a lot of quality time with the Pearl. It took a lot of patience and time, but the deck is done for the most part with all guns rigged. There are only 10 guns on deck since I noticed that there is no cannon under the stairs both port and starboard. I have a ton of little touch-ups to do, but it is starting to look busy and messy, which is how I envision a pirate ship such as the Pearl to be.
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Like I said, there's a ton of touch ups to do, but it's pretty much where I want it to be. And that leads me to the masts, which I have worked on a bit already. So I decided to figure out how I was going to approach the sails. So here's my rather chaotic approach to painting the sails of the Black Pearl. I start with a base of Gunship Gray, followed by a heavy wash of black to bring out some detail.
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I follow that up with several drybrushes with different shades of a lighter gray in order to not only bring out some highlights and set my light direction, but to give the sail some wear and tear. I then seal with a clear flat. I already have a problem. I don't like Krylon Clear Flat because it's not actually flat. It has a sheen. Gotta remember to stop by Hobby Lobby for some Matte Clear...anyway, once I have sealed with a clear, I mask of patches. Remember, at the beginning of the second movie, the first scene of the Pearl clearly shows that the sails have been patched up. In the entire second movie there are only a couple of clear shots of most of the sails fully unfurled. I'll be working from this. So I start masking off patches.
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Looking at the movie capture, I can see I have my work cut out for me. Some of the sails must have over a dozen patches on them. This is going to take a lot of time....and tape. Gotta pick up more tape while I'm getting the Clear Spray...Anyway, I get a number of patches done, using a number of earth tone colors for variety.
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Then another shot of clear and another wash to blend the patches.
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Not good enough. Another wash.
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Much better. After that dries I break out my black chalk. The reason for this is how the chalk works. I scrape some chalk off so I have a powder. I pick some of the dust up on a 1/4 inch wide-soft bristle brush. I then pick several spots to make dirty. A good example is the deck of the Wasp I just finished. The exhaust stains were created using chalk. It's the same principle, but with sails it not only gives the sail texture, but it makes everything blend and soften. One more shot of clear and we're done. Auugghhh....I gotta get that can of clear.
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Now I have about 10 or so more sails to go and about a 60 or so patches to mask.....sometimes I think this hobby is more like a punishment....

I hope you like my chaos. It's not perfect, and I'm learning a lot as I go, but I like it.

More to come.

Phil

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by dafi » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:56 am

Wonderfully done!!!

The only remark is, to perhaps to take the patches even further more aback color wise, as they still draw very much attention.

All the best, Daniel
Official "mad hatter" and "ϋber detailer supreme" of the board, appointed to the Royal order of the Lath and proud owner of a box of mad frogs :-)

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by drmcoy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:17 pm

some screen caps i found online show the patchwork as rather obvious on the sails, so if you are going screen accurate, i wouldn't make the sails any more subtle than what you have already done. i am also painting on the patchwork, and yes, your observation that this hobby is often more punishment than fun made me laugh out loud.

i have also started in on the rigging -- for the rigging that comes off the railing -- where the instructions show how many cm's the line should be - do you follow that guide or add a few more cms of line to allow you to make it easier to tie them off?

or are you skilled enough at this to not rely on the instructions?

any advice appreciated as i didn't want to cut all the rigging line to what was stated in instructions only to find it was a few cm short -- but i guess i can always try to order more rigging line...not sure from where, but i imagine it is available online.

by the way, if i haven't said it enough, GLORIOUS build. simply amazing.

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by pstanfield » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:30 am

I think Daniel's point is to try and avoid making the Black Pearl look too comical. It would take away from the "menacing" look that one gets when seeing this vessel. Plus, when you look closely you can see that many patches are virtually indistiguishable from the rest of the sail. Some patches are newer than others. Also, my camera is making the patches really stand out. they are more subtle then what appears in the photo. I'll have to remember (and it makes my job harder) to layer the weathering. Maybe do three layers of patches, so that the first layer will have the heaviest weathering and the last layer will have the least.

DrMcoy, when it comes to rigging, I always leave myself at least an extra 4 inches or more so I have enough to work with. Make sure you look around the forums for tips on rigging, as well as around the web. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Pete, Maurice, Rob, and others here are experts with rigging. I consider myself a "dangerous" intermediate, since I am still a novice when it comes to what each line is called. Rigging is a fairly methodical process and can either be therapeutic or your worst nightmare. There are several books on the subject. If I had to give tips, my first would be to stop by your local fabric shop and ask for Bee's Wax. It's usually in a container with slots for you to run your line through. Pull your line through it a few times, then run it between your fingers to force the wax into the line. It will make the line very easy to work with and it will get rid of any folds/creases in the line. And I cannot recommend having at least one pair of forceps. It will help get the line into those tight areas. And the most important tip...BE PATIENT! It's easy to get ahead of yourself. Take your time and it will come out just fine. Just look around the forums here and don't be afraid to ask questions. The guys here are absolutely great and love to talk about this lovely hobby.

You could order your rigging line off the web, though for the Pearl you could probably do just as well picking some up from the fabric shop. Just take some from the kit with you and match it as close as possible. It doesn't have to be a perfect match.

In the meantime, I have some wine in me already, so attempting to mask the sails may prove to be a bad idea...for tonight at least. I hope everyone has, or had (for those across the pond and around the world) a wonderful new year. Here's hoping the Mayan's are at least a few years off....

Phil

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by bobjacon » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:58 am

Phil,

Thanks for the updates...your build looks GREAT!
My kit finally arrived and I am taking advantage of the warm weather and got a coat of primer on it and I got started on it!
After seeing your build, I am going to attempt scratch building the bulkhead sort of like you did...it is turning out ok for a guy who is typically a figure guy!

Happy New Year to you and all of my cyber friends!

BobJ
~ Bob J ~ "Expanding From Figures Kits to Building Ships"

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Re: Building the Black Pearl

Post by drmcoy » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:39 pm

thanks for your considered advice, phil. i will forge ahead keeping it in mind, especially the "have patience" part.

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