Building the Gloire

This is a step-by-step expose depicting the building and painting of a Bay Area Yard model

Gloire, with Magenta and Provence in the background, fresh out of the box. Gloire was actually part of a bigger order.. but being the first ironclad, I will build her first!
Gloire's hull close up. Step one is to look the hull over for casting flaws. The only apparent one on this casting is a nick in the aft bulwark. I will either fill this in with plastic later, or simply leave it. Be sure to check that the hull sits level on a flat surface.
Step two involves trimming or sanding off excess flash. Many resin castings have irregularities along the waterline. These can be sanded off. If the model does not sit level, place a piece of 150, 200 or 220 grit sandpaper on a level surface. Press the bottom of the model against the sandpaper and move the model around in a circular motion, as if you were waxing a car. Be sure not to sand away critical details. It is important to do this gently, and maintain an even keel in order to prevent the model from taking an artificial list or trim!

Caution! Resin dust is toxic. Do your sanding outside, and wear a painter's mask or similar protection. Take precautions to be sure that the resin dust does not drift into pet water, pools, etc!

After the hull has been sanded, soak it for a few minutes in a sink full of tepid, soapy water. Dish soap works nicely. Then rinse it under tepid water, and gently clean with a paper towel. This rinses off both the resin dust created during sanding, and any mold-release agent that was used during the casting process. Pat the model dry as much as possible. Then leave it until it is fully dry.

Carefully mark and drill out holes for the masts.
I usually add boat davits at this time. These are made from 22 gauge steel piano wire, bent to shape with needlenose pliers. I glue them on with regular superglue - a little applied to each davit prior to mounting, then a coat of glue over the davit after it adheasis to the hull. Sop up the extra glue with a scrap piece of balsa wood (not tissue!).

Expect a couple of the davits to be knocked off and lost during painting and construction. That's why I always make a few extra.

After the glue on the davits has dried, the hull is ready for priming. Walmart flat grey primer has never failed me!
Some basic painting has now been done. I use common artist acrylics. Various browns for decks, wicker for the inside of the bulwarks, white for the outside, hippo grey for the hatches and gratings, charcoal for the outside of the hull, and Turner's yellow for the funnel.
A bit more painting done now. The hull is painted overall charcoal with white upperworks. The charcoal is dry-brushed with hippo grey to bring out the details of the gunports, mouldings, etc. After that I went over the drybrushing with an even fainter, ligher coat of light grey.
Additional details have now been added. Four scratchbuilt balsa vent cowels (with a fifth on the fo'castle) have been added and painted yellow. Guywires now support the funnel, and boatbooms have been added under the forward bulwarks.

Finally, I have added small strips of styrene stock to the inside of the bulwarks, corresponding to the location of Gloire's shrouds. I am going to use wire for shrouds, and the lower ends of the wire will rest on these strips.

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