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About Speedbird

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  1. After 36 days of work, 672 individual scratch-built pieces, my 1/1500 scale model of the British super-dreadnought HMS Ramillies is finished. The model depicts the ship as she appeared working up in late 1917 with her Wilkinson Admiralty Disruptive Dazzle camouflage scheme. The model is made from boxwood and brass, with four grades of tungsten wire for the rigging. The sea base was made from carved basswood and painted. The ship was built entirely from scratch using scale drawings and photographs. If you’d like more information about how I build these ships, I have a website www.josephlavender.com. None of the models are for sale and I do not take commissions. The 1943 Shilling is just under 1” or 24mm in diameter for scale. HMS Ramillies was a difficult subject since she’s probably the least-documented of the five Revenge class battleships. Only a handful of photographs exist of her from late 1917, the period I chose for the model. However, the originally Admiralty color plates used to paint the dazzle camouflage still exist. Ramillies wore this camouflage from late 1917 through March 1918. The colors did pose a bit of a challenge since the forward section of the ship was essentially painted pink or mauve as the RN referred to it, and that color doesn’t scale well. I chose a pinkish peach color cut with a bit of medium grey. Had I used the color right from the plate, without scaling it, I think it would have appeared too garish. The same was done with the other colors as well, cutting them with grey to soften them a bit.
  2. Thanks! I ordered the wood, glass, and steel display case the other day for the finished diorama. I’ll post some more photos of that when it comes in.
  3. Today’s progress: The aft funnel is made from aluminum sheet to give it that thin and delicate look. Aluminum is easy to work with but damned difficult to glue. The interior and exterior pipes are all there, the funnel containing something like 30 individual pieces and hollow right down to the main deck. It was probably more work than it warranted but a solid block of wood wouldn’t have answered, no, not at all. I suspect the forward funnel will be easier to build now that I have a notion how to do it. I’ve already made a boxwood former and plan to start its construction tomorrow. Additionally, I hope you notice the awning support stanchions with its associated rigging. This was another all-day affair. Many folks choose not to model this detail on their ships but I think it adds to the delicacy of the model, worth the effort in the end.
  4. Ha! Very carefully! I Spent all day building the aft funnel from aluminum as thin as foil, just so it’d look delicate, I thought I’d lose my mind, but on the second try, it all came together.
  5. There will be a few more progress photos. I’m building the awning stanchions as we speak, all 54 of them, not to mention their rigging...
  6. Thanks! The hull is boxwood, the rest is mostly brass.
  7. Why thank you! I’ll post a few more since you folks seem to be interested:
  8. Ha! Thanks!!! Here is my finished SMS Viribus Unitis in 1/1500 if you’re interested.
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