Building the Heller Chebec
Basic fit in general was good, especially considering the age of the model. Clamps, superglue and verbal abuse were needed to get the main deck and hull together but after that it was generally easy sailing.
The yards are hollow and I strengthened the joints with a brass wire plug. This enabled me to put some tension on the rigging to give a curved effect due to the weight look. The cannon provided a challenge. I hate repetitive things in models and cannon are not a big favorite of mine. I did a first quick fit of three cannon and asked online for an opinion from my fellow website inhabitants. The general opinion was that I was fudging things in a big way: no breech ropes, my tackles were incorrect and the general construction of the cannon was bad. Looking back I must admit they were right. Bearing in mind the advice I added metal pad eyes, I used wine bottle lead to make covers on the gun carriage to imitate the elevation pin covers and I updated the tackles and added breech ropes.
I scratch built the bilge pumps, the pieces supplied in the model being plain tubes. The sails I made myself using extremely thin linen cloth I bought at a ladies needlework store. My wife really thought I was losing things when I walked in there.
The fore sail seams I sowed myself and although the end result was passable it took a tremendous time to finish. The main sail seams I folded over twice and and then ironed with a steam iron. I fitted a length of brass wire in the fold and then drenched the fold in diluted white glue. After letting the glue dry I was able to shape the main sail to a suitably wind filled look.
The mizzen sail was seamed using dilute white glue without wire being fitted. I used Doc. O’Brien’s weathering powders to weather the sails, blanking some sections with Tamiya masking tape to give a patched look.