Friday, July 22, 2011

Are you ready for the HEAT to be brought on you?

This weekend, I'm fully anticipating most work in the Dockyard to come to a screeching halt, thanks to the abominable heatwave.  Of course that won't stop some from heading out to at least the shaded portions of the shop and sweating all over the work in progress.  Of course for many more sensible people there are more savory alternatives to the sauna, previously known as the Framing Bay.
I, for one, intend to take much of this weekend and spend it inside, working on plans and manufacturing techniques for the HORNET half hulls in 1:48 scale.  And of course, after yesterday's post, I received no fewer than 14 emails requesting that we reserve one for purchase.  So, that said, I'm working on manufacturing processes that will allow us to produce them in sufficient quantity to sate demand.

And on that score, I should go into some detail about the models we're working on - there is some variety.  One rendition, which I am calling 'standard' will be a fairly run-of-the-mill model, completely solid wood and shaped to the lines of the new Hornet (not the original - there are some small differences).  Example 1:

Of course, these will be carefully stained and varnished to a fine finish.  Another rendition, which I'm calling 'painted' will show the ship painted above the waterline and finished bright below, but possibly with additional lines and numbers scribed to illustrate the lines plan below the waterline.  Example 2:

The last version which I call 'frames' consists of open framing (ribs) below the wales (the thick band of planking on the hull), planked above and some head detail.  These will take a bit longer to produce and are more complex, but I think the result will be well worth it - as you can see by an example 3:

That's not a half hull model but you get the idea.  The planking including the wales will be painted in Hornet's trademark black and ochre 1812 scheme.

Now, before anyone gets too excited I can safely say that these little gems will not be cheap - if we put them up for purchase AT ALL.  I would estimate, loosely, at around $400-500 each in materials and paid work alone (more than 3/4 of the work will be performed by skilled volunteers).  The intention of these from the get-go was to serve as a gift for large donors - above the $10,000 level to be exact.  The resultant exclusivity - and the fact that each will be numbered - might raise their value to some.  In any case, we wanted to make sure our donors had a unique, valuable token of the project they helped support.

I should also say that we do certainly plan to offer half-hull models as part of our merchandising plan, so these aren't the only half-hulls of Hornet that will eventually be available.  But those will likely be largely machine-made, finished by hand, and available in different scales other than the "builder's scale" of 1:48 - probably a more modest 1:64 or 1:96.

Stay tuned for updates.


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